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March 2005
42.4 percent News

42.4 percent News

LOS ANGELES, March 4th, 2005  Production began this week on Focus Features' 42.4 percent, a romantic comedy starring Sanaa Lathan (Brown Sugar, Alien vs. Predator) and Simon Baker (The Ring Two, L.A. Confidential) and directed by Sanaa Hamri. Stephanie Allain is producing the film through her company, Homegrown Pictures. Focus holds worldwide rights to the movie. Focus co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus made the announcement today.

Joining the two leads in the feature are Golden Brooks (star of the popular sitcom Girlfriends, and soon to be seen in Beauty Shop), Mike Epps (upcoming in Guess Who and The Honeymooners), Donald Faison (from the hit NBC series Scrubs), Taraji P. Henson (of this summer's Hustle & Flow and Four Brothers), Wendy Raquel Robinson (of this summer's Rebound), four-time NAACP Image Award winner Blair Underwood, and four-time Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard.

Ms. Hamri, a top director of music videos, is making her feature directorial debut on the movie. The original screenplay is by Kriss Turner (The Bernie Mac Show), with recent revisions by Lisa Jones (Disappearing Acts) and Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou). Preston Holmes is executive-producing the film. Focus executive vice president, production Joe Pichirallo is supervising the project for the company, reporting to president of production John Lyons.

The movie is about finding love when and where it's least expected. Kenya (played by Ms. Lathan) is a career woman who, while being a success professionally, yearns for comparable personal satisfaction. Looking for that perfect man, she even has a checklist at the ready. Much to her surprise, she sets off sparks with Brian (Mr. Baker), who's not what she'd pictured for herself. They share a mutual attraction, passion, and a deepening connection. Can Kenya retire her checklist, sweep aside preconceptions, and commit to a future with Brian?

Mr. Linde and Mr. Schamus said, "At Focus, we look for love stories that feed both heart and soul. Sanaa Hamri is bringing a visually lush cinematic technique to the storytelling, and Stephanie has brought together a terrific cast."

Moroccan-born Sanaa Hamri has helmed videos for Prince (Musicology, which was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards), India.Arie (The Truth and Little(more)Things, for which she won an NAACP Image Award), Common featuring Mary J. Blige (Come Close), Heather Headley (He Is), Jadakiss (Ask Why), Sting, Destiny's Child, and Mariah Carey, among other artists.

Ms. Allain's slate of projects also includes the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winner Hustle & Flow, which she produced with John Singleton, to be released this summer. She also produced Biker Boyz. Previously, during her eight years as a Columbia Pictures creative executive, she launched the careers of such filmmakers as Mr. Singleton (on Boyz n the Hood) and Robert Rodriguez (on El Mariachi).



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