Ashley Bell made her feature film debut in Lionsgate and Strike Entertainment's thriller, 'The Last Exorcism.' Her performance garnered her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and an MTV Movie Award nomination, while the film grossed nearly $70 million worldwide. The New York Post praised Bell's performance as 'Oscar-worthy' and one of the 10 best performances of 2010 for her extraordinary portrayal of the possessed Nell Sweetzer, which she will reprise in the highly anticipated sequel, entitled 'The Last Exorcism Part II,' set to be released nationwide on March 1, 2013.
In 2012, Bell starred in Doug Aarniokoski's post-apocalyptic thriller 'The Day,' which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Upcoming projects include Norry Niven's romantic drama 'Chasing Shakespeare' opposite Danny Glover; the noir feature film 'Sparks,' based on the graphic comic; 'The Marine: Homecoming,' along with Neil McDonough; and the romantic comedy 'The Bounceback,' directed by fellow Spirit Award nominee Bryan Poser. Bell is passionately involved with Elephants In Crisis, and is in pre-production to produce and direct a documentary depicting the capture of two Asian elephants from a logging facility in Cambodia, and their subsequent release into the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary.
Bell’s voice has been featured in several top-selling video games, including the lead role of Erline in Sony PlayStation's 'Sorcery' and The White Queen in Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland.' Her television credits include appearances in 'The United States of Tara', 'Grow', and 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'.
Bell, born and raised in Los Angeles, is the daughter of actor/voice animator Michael Bell and actress and Groundlings co-founder Victoria Carroll. She studied acting and directing at Cambridge University, where she was awarded 'Best Actress' for her portrayal of 'Ophelia'. Bell later graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with honors, and was mentored by Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner.
Ed Gass-Donnelly is a Toronto-based independent filmmaker. Hailing from roots in the theatre, he has approached his films with an unapologetically hands-on approach, often serving as director, producer, writer, and editor. After making numerous short films and music videos, Ed’s feature debut, This Beautiful City, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 and went on to be nominated for four Canadian Academy Awards (the Genie Awards).
His sophomore feature, Small Town Murder Songs, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival to great critical acclaim and landed him a spot on Variety's coveted '10 Directors to Watch' list in 2011. Ed is writing and directing several new films including Lavender, a rural supernatural thriller produced by Michael de Luca, Three In The Back, Two In The Head, a political thriller based on the award-winning play, and Permafrost, a survivalist 'eco-horror'.
Born in 1985, Damien Chazelle wrote and directed his first feature film, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, while an undergraduate at Harvard University. It premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, was released theatrically in fall 2010, and was named one of the best films of the year by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Time Out New York, Film Comment, and The Boston Phoenix. A musical shot on black-and-white 16mm for $60,000, it was nominated at the 2009 Gotham Independent Film Awards and was named 'the best first feature of 2010' by Karina Longworth of L.A. Weekly and 'easily the best first film in eons' by David Fear of Time Out New York. It was one of Metacritic's 20 best-reviewed films of 2010, and J. Hoberman of The Village Voice declared that 'No movie I've seen this year has given me more joy.'
Shortly after Guy and Madeline's release, Chazelle's spec screenplay The Claim was included in the 2010 Black List. Damien's screenplay Grand Piano went into production in the summer of 2012, with Adrián Guerra and Rodrigo Cortés (Buried) producing and Elijah Wood, John Cusack, and Kerry Bishé starring. Chazelle was also hired to pen the sequel to the 2011 hit The Last Exorcism, produced by Strike Entertainment and Eli Roth, which is currently in postproduction and will be released this March. Damien recently returned to the 2012 Blacklist with his spec, entitled Whiplash, and at the moment he is working on a rewrite for Bad Robot and Paramount.
Eric Newman is a film and television producer and founding partner in NBC/Universal-based Strike Entertainment, a production company established in 2003 with partner Marc Abraham. Movies produced by Newman include Zack Snyder's reimagining of the horror classic Dawn of the Dead, Alfonso Cuarón's three-time Academy Award®-nominated Children of Men, and the box-office hit The Last Exorcism, which at a budget of under $2 million has grossed over $70 million worldwide.
Newman most recently produced the film IN TIME, which has grossed over $160 million worldwide. He recently produced The Man With The Iron Fists, the directorial debut of the Wu Tang founder the RZA, starring Russell Crowe and Lucy Lu.
Newman's films currently in post-production include Jose Padilla's big budget reimagining of Robocop; and a sequel to the Last Exorcism, which Newman produced with his frequent collaborator Eli Roth. Newman is also executive producer of the Netflix television series Hemlock Grove which will release all 13 episodes at once in April 2013.
Prior to the formation of Strike, Newman served as the ranking development and production executive at Beacon Communications, joining the company in 1999. Movies released during Newman's tenure include Spy Game, The Family Man, Bring It On, End of Days, The Hurricane and Thirteen Days.
Newman began his career working as an intern in the talent office at Saturday Night Live. He later joined producer Lorne Michaels' Paramount Pictures-based Broadway Video as a production executive, where he helped oversee the Chris Farley/David Spade films Tommy Boyand Black Sheep. Newman is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema-Television.
Eli Roth burst onto the film scene at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival, with his debut film CABIN FEVER, which he produced, directed, and co-wrote. Produced independently for a budget of $1.5 million dollars, CABIN FEVER sparked a frenzied seven-studio bidding war, and went on to be Lionsgate's highest grossing film of 2003, earning $33 million at the box office worldwide, nearly $70 million on DVD and spawning a sequel. Roth's second film, HOSTEL, which he wrote, produced and directed, Executive Produced and Presented by Quentin Tarantino, was a massive hit worldwide, opening #1 both at the domestic box office and on DVD. Produced independently for a nominal budget of $4 million dollars, HOSTEL has to date earned $150 million dollars in theatrical and DVD revenue. HOSTEL earned tremendous critical praise, winning an Empire Magazine Award for Best Horror Film, was named Best American Film of 2006 by 'Le Monde', and was ranked as the #1 scariest film of all-time on Bravo's 'Even 100 Scarier Movie Moments.' Roth followed up with the sequel HOSTEL PART II. Produced for $10 million dollars, HOSTEL PART II earned $35 million dollars at the box office worldwide, an additional $50 million on DVD, and made Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top 20 horror films of the decade. All of Roth's films have been made without major stars, and his success has given him name-above-the title status and first dollar gross. Roth will make his long-awaited return to the director’s chair with THE GREEN INFERNO, a horror thriller he is also writing.
As an actor, Roth appears in AFTERSHOCK, an earthquake thriller directed by Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Lopez, which he also co-wrote with Lopez and produced. After playing in the 2012 Toronto Film Festival to much praise, The Weinstein Company will release the film in 2013. Roth also appeared as an actor in Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF segment of GRINDHOUSE and wrote and directed the popular faux trailer THANKSGIVING that played in between the features in the film, as well. Tarantino was so pleased with Roth's performance he cast him in a lead role as Sgt. Donnie Donowitz in his World War II epic INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, co-starring alongside Brad Pitt. Roth and his cast members received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble, as well as a Broadcast Film Critic's Choice Award and a People's Choice Award. He also directed the propaganda film-within-the-film, NATION'S PRIDE.
In 2009, Roth and producer Eric Newman teamed up to form Arcade Films, a new genre production company, with Roth writing, directing and producing his films only for the company. Their first production, THE LAST EXORCISM, produced with Strike Entertainment, was produced for $1.8 million dollars, sold to Lionsgate, and opened at over $20 million. Their second production, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, was co-written by Roth and Wu-Tang Clan founder The RZA, with Roth and Strike producing, and RZA directing. The film stars Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Jamie Chung, and RZA, and is opened wide on November 2, 2012.
Arcade Films recently joined with Netflix and Gaumont Internatinoal Television to adapt Brian McGreevy's popular novel Hemlock Grove into an original hour-long television series, starring Famke Janssen, that will premiere exclusively on Netflix in April 2013. In addition to serving as executive producer, Roth will direct the first episode. Roth's upcoming projects as a producer include the horror film CLOWN, THE LAST EXORCISM 2, and ENDANGERED SPECIES, which he will direct after The Green Inferno.
Eli Roth's Goretorium, a year round haunted attraction in Las Vegas, opened in September 2012.
Marc Abraham is an American producer, writer and director. In 2008 he directed Flash of Genius starring Greg Kinnear. Among his many producing and executive producing credits are Children of Men, Spy Game, The Family Man, The Rundown, Dawn of the Dead, Air Force One, 13 Days, and The Hurricane.
Currently, Abraham is writing to direct I Saw The Light, a script based on the life of legendary singer-songwriter Hank Williams. In addition, this past winter, along with his partner Eric Newman, Abraham produced a kung-fu western titled The Man With The Iron Fists, directed by the leader of Wu Tang Clan, The RZA.
Thomas Bliss was born in Hollywood and began his film career in junior high school with an 8mm camera. Tom is a partner at Strike Entertainment, where he produced The Last Exorcism and executive produced The Man with the Iron Fists, Flash of Genius, Children of Men, Dawn of the Dead, Spy Game, The Emperor's Club, Tuck Everlasting, Thirteen Days, The Family Man, End of Days, The Hurricane, Air Force One, A Thousand Acres and The Baby-Sitters Club, and produced Bring It On, A Life in the Theatre, and Box of Moonlight.
Tom attended UCLA Film School and later returned to UCLA for a law degree. He has been honored with a Peabody Award, two Cable-ACE Awards, and an American Red Cross Humanities Service Medal. He now serves on the Board of Trustees of the Directors Guild of America - Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Training Program, the Board of Trustees of California Indian Legal Services, the Board of Governors of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation and the Board of Advisors of the UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the State Bar of California.