Catalyst Studios Launches With Female-Fronted Film Slate, Highland To Handle Sales

May 3, 2022


U.S. production company Catalyst Studios is launching with a slate of female-fronted projects that will be repped for sales by Highland Film Group.


Attorney Holly Levow (Imprisoned) has partnered with Mark Pennell (Storm Warning) and Paul Kampf (Imprisoned) to form Catalyst which will have a focus on feature films from emerging talent and with diverse storytelling. The company says its mission is to invest in new filmmakers with multi-picture deals.


The company’s initial slate will include six features directed, produced by and centered on female protagonists. The firm is a joint venture between Levow’s and Kampf’s Equitas Entertainment, and Beacon Pictures, where Pennell serves as Head of Special Projects and New Business.


The first film on the docket will be Alix, described as a “redemptive coming-of-age fantasy”. Written and directed by Ana Maria Hermida (The Firefly), the film charts the subject of sex trafficking in the jungles of Colombia. Alix will be produced by Holly Levow, Lemore Syvan, Mark Pennell and Paul Kampf. Production is due to commence in the fall of 2022.


“We are incredibly excited about these six bold new female-driven films – there is big audience demand for these kinds of projects!” added Highland Film Group COO Delphine Perrier.


The slate of six films will shoot in multiple locations including Colombia and Belgrade with Bandur Film providing production services in Serbia.


“Catalyst Studios’ inaugural endeavor is a bold yet urgent commitment; women represent over 50% of the viewing audience and only account for a fraction of the creative marketplace. It’s both a tremendous business opportunity as well as a socially conscious business investment that we tell stories about women by women,” said Levow, Catalyst’s Chairperson.


Kampf and Pennell added: “it’s a new dawn, a new day for motion picture business. An opportunity to improve the way things are done is upon us and we feel we should seize the moment”.


“This new slate by Catalyst Studios is a wonderful opportunity to empower women both in front of and behind the camera,” commented Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser.


By Andreas Wiseman, Deadline