Bleecker Street Nabs Dark Karate Comedy, THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE, Which Starts Production This Week


Production is underway in Kentucky for writer and director Riley Stearns's new dark comedy, The Art Of Self Defense. Actor Jesse Eisenberg leads the cast with actress Imogen Poots and actor Alessandro Nivola also starring.
The film centers on Casey (Jesse Eisenberg), who is attacked at random on the street and enlists in a local dojo led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity and a woman (Imogen Poots) fighting for her place in it. Casey undertakes a journey, both frightening and darkly funny, that will place him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor.
The Art Of Self-Defense is produced by The End Cue's Andrew Kortschak, Cody Ryder, Stephanie Whonsetler and Walter Kortschak. Worldwide distribution rights have been acquired by Bleecker Street whose Andrew Karpen serves as executive producer, and whose Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy struck the deal with the filmmakers' reps, CAA.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with an exciting filmmaker like Riley,” said Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen. “Ever since we saw his work at Sundance and SXSW we knew we wanted to be in business with him and we can’t wait to bring his original and hilarious vision to audiences around the world." 
“This is a very personal film that happens to have karate in it. I’m lucky to be surrounded by actors, a crew, producers and a distributor like Bleecker Street who care as deeply about the project as I do,” said Stearns.

Stearns is best known for his 2014 dark crime comedy, Faults, which earned nominations from several festivals, including Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress at the BloodGuts UK Horror Awards that year. Eisenberg reprises his role as Lex Luthor later this year when Zack Snyder's Justice League opens on November 17.

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