Nicely Entertainment launches Darkly Entertainment

The new venture set to specialize in the production and distribution of suspense, thriller, and drama genre movies and TV Series will officially launch at this year’s American Film Market.

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Nicely Entertainment announced the launch of Darkly Entertainment, a new label dedicated to producing and distributing darker elevated dramatic content for theatrical and digital distribution. The new venture will officially launch at this year’s American Film Market. “Since we launched Nicely Entertainment in 2020, we’ve become recognized as the feel-good movie expert with our popular romantic comedies and holiday movies airing on leading broadcast and streaming outlets around the globe,”Nicely Entertainment Founder & CEO, Vanessa Shapiro said.

Darkly will kick off its slate with two original productions, "Holiday Hold-Up," currently in post-production. The holiday crime drama stars Jeremy Holm, John Pirruccello  and Agnes Albright. It follows a team of disgruntled restaurant employees who take revenge on their thieving mobster boss. Four directors each deliver their unique perspective to this ensemble film, including best-selling comic book author Michael Moreci, who also wrote the screenplay--Michele B. McGraw, Robert Patrick Stern and Kyko Claudio. The producers assigned to the project include Sarah Sharp, Jen Shelby and Kevin McGrail. Nicely’s Shapiro and Scott Kirkpatrick, EVP Distribution and Co-Productions, serve as Executive Producers.

The new label will also present the new action disaster film, "Super Icyclone," a co-production with Defiant Empire Distribution and Good-Soldier Films in Canada. Climatologist Jill Sanders receives weather data indicating the formation of an unimaginably powerful storm system, and as tragic storm related deaths start mounting in real time, she realizes her small town is about to be ground zero for a massively destructive ice-hurling tornado. Andrew Cymek (Baby Stealer) directs from a screenplay by Jake Helgren and Brigitte Kingsley, who also stars alongside Landy Cannon and Cory Lee. Nicely’s Shapiro and Kirkpatrick serve as executive producers.

In addition to the two new productions, Darkly has also acquired the international distribution rights to content launching at AFM, including "Exile," launched on demand in the U.S. earlier this month. The psychological horror film stars Adam Beach as a father struggling with his past, alongside stellar performances from Camille Sullivan, Garry Chalk and Marshall Williams. The film made its world premiere in December 2022 to sold-out audiences at the Whistler Film Festival. 

The catalog also includes "Lace," an original TV series for AMC Network’s owned streaming platform AllBlk. in "Lcae," Lacey McCullough is a successful and highly connected lawyer, whose influence sometimes leads her down a very dark path. The prolific Los Angeles attorney often finds herself blurring the lines between right and wrong to protect her rich and powerful clientele. With the help of her trusted associates, Othello Charles (Skyh Black) and Britney Deveaux – and the ever-efficient twins, Aaron and Nora Tuft– McCullough faces one of her most mysterious and perilous cases to date. Season two of the series launched in June 2023.

Also included in the new slate is "How to Rob," a crime film featuring Chinaza Uche, Caitlin Zoz, and Eli Powers. Sean Price and Jimmy Winters are a two-man stick-up crew, robbing criminals from Boston to Cape Cod. Sean wants out of the game but it's not so simple when a couple of killers are hunting them for retribution over a past robbery. The film was released in the U.S. in January 2023.

News of the launch was recently confirmed by Shapiro. “As our business has grown, we want to respond to our clients’ needs for alternative and dramatic content for theatrical and digital distribution--that’s how Darkly was born," Shapiro said. "Darkly Entertainment will focus on films and series that  explore the complexities of human nature, taking viewers on exhilarating and emotionally charged journeys. Launching the banner during AFM is the natural and perfect venue.”

As our business has grown, we want to respond to our clients’ needs for alternative and dramatic content for theatrical and digital distribution--that’s how Darkly was born.” Vanessa Shapiro Founder & CEO, Nicely Entertainment

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