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Contact: Shannon Treusch (212) 445-7100


Los Angeles, CA, July 11, 2000 -- Production is underway on Jordan Melamed's Manic, a drama about troubled teens struggling to overcome their demons in a private mental institution. Manic stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun), Don Cheadle (Boogie Nights, Devil In a Blue Dress) and Michael Bacall (Urban Legend: The Final Cut.)

The story focuses on a violent teenager, played by Gordon-Levitt, who is institutionalized against his will; Cheadle, a reformed drug addict turned psychologist who is assigned to help the troubled teens and; Bacall, a bi-polar youth who instantly bonds with Gordon-Levitt's character. The rest of the group of adolescents are portrayed by Elden Henson (The Mighty), Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous), Sara Rivas (Crash) and Cody Lightning (Smoke Signals).

Director Melamed explained that the feature is being shot at an abandoned mental institution near Los Angeles because, "We are trying to tell a story about the alienation and violence that permeate youth culture in a very realistic way. Shooting digitally is giving us the immediacy and intimacy we need." "Manic" is the first feature to be shot with the PD150, Sony's new small-format professional digital camera.

"Manic" is being produced by Trudi Callon and Kirk Hassig. Co-star Bacall also wrote the screenplay along with Blayne Weaver who has a principle role in the film.

"Manic" is the first digital feature to receive production financing through Next Wave Film's new digital production arm, Agenda 2000. Next Wave Films, headed by Peter Broderick, was created by the Independent Film Channel to help launch the careers of exceptionally talented new filmmakers. Broderick is also the executive producer on the film.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first television network entirely dedicated to capturing and presenting the irreverent style of independent film. Started September 1, 1994, IFC is available to over 23 million homes. All films are presented unedited and commercially uninterrupted 24 hours a day.

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