Otmara Marrero (“Start-Up”) and Katie Clarkson-Hill (“Hanna”) are set to star in Catalyst Studios actioner “Switch & Bait.”
Directed by Michelle Salcedo, the pic is the first project of Catalyst Studios to begin physical production. Catalyst launched its banner in May with an initial slate of six feature films directed, produced and centered on female protagonists.
Principal photography began in Belgrade, Serbia, this past week. Megan Messmer and Veronica Caicedo are producing, while Catalyst Studios’ Holly Levow, Mark Pennell and Paul Kampf are executive producing. Highland Film Group is handling the worldwide sales on the title.
“Switch & Bait” is based on a script written by Russell Gewirtz (“Inside Man”) and tells the story of a seemingly naïve call girl (Clarkson-Hill) who escapes the clutches of a notorious gangster with a cell phone containing all his secrets. A tough female cop (Marrero), who may or may not be crooked, is given the job to get the witness, on time and in one piece to testify. However, in a fast-paced, action-packed chase, it soon emerges that not everyone is who they pretend to be.
Salcedo said: “From the moment I read it, I thought of Otmara Marrero in the lead role. She’s the perfect blend of strength and vulnerability and isn’t afraid to take on challenging roles that take her out of her comfort zone.
“Katie Clarkson-Hill is a rising star and will be her partner in crime as the women embark on this cross-country journey together,” the director added. “I have found an unexpected artistic sanctuary in Serbia and I am thrilled to be working with the incredibly talented crew to bring this story to life.”
Catalyst Studios chairperson Holly Levow added: “This slate covers a diverse collection of films, from aspirational storylines, action-based adventures, and psychological thrillers. The Catalyst mission is to shine a light on female talent, promoting women in every role of the process in front of and behind the camera.”
Catalyst Studios’ Paul Kampf said: “This is an ambitious project for Catalyst’s first project out of the gate. But we have established an impressive production footprint here in Serbia. The crews are wonderful, and we are excited about finally getting the wheels turning.”
Marrero is represented by Innovative Artists, while Clarkson-Hill is repped by Hamilton Hodell.