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LOS ANGELES (April 27, 2017) − Shivani Rawat, quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s most prolific and important film producers (TRUMBO, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC), announced today that her production company, ShivHans Pictures, has acquired and will produce “Brian Banks,” the extraordinary true story of the wrongful imprisonment and ultimate exoneration of the one-time high school football prodigy.  Production will begin later this summer. 

Tom Shadyac, (BRUCE ALMIGHTY, I AM) has come aboard to direct the script by Doug Atchison (AKLEEAH AND THE BEE).  The project was originally incubated through Amy Baer’s development fund, Gidden Media, and Baer (LAST VEGAS) will produce alongside Rawat and Monica Levinson, ShivHansPresident of Production. Banks, Atchison, Justin Brooks and Neal Strum are executive producers.

An all-American high-school football player committed to USC by his junior year, Brian’s life was upended in 2002 when falsely accused of rape.  Despite furiously maintaining his innocence, Brian was nonetheless railroaded through the system and sentenced to a decade of prison and parole.  Ultimately, with the help of the California Innocence Project, Bank’s conviction was overturned in 2012 and he ultimately achieved his NFL dream with the Atlanta Falcons’ pre-season squad in 2013.

On returning to Hollywood filmmaking, Shadyac said, “living and teaching in Memphis for the past four years has given me an intimate look at the injustice people of color face every day.  Brian’s inspiring story is not only emblematic of that injustice, but a clarion call against a judicial system in urgent need of reform. It’s a story I had to tell.”

Rawat commented on the project, “After meeting Brian and hearing his story, I felt compelled to make this movie. I’m committed to stories about social justice, which is why this project resonated with me. Tom’s life journey the past several years makes him an inspired choice to tell this story, and we’re so glad to have him on the team.” 

Baer added, “Shivani is inspiring and courageous to invest in this kind of storytelling.  As I have been lucky to be mentored by amazing women throughout my career, I am equally fortunate to have this opportunity to make a film with and for one of the next generation of female industry leaders.” 

Banks expressed his feelings on the film saying, “It’s an honor to have such an amazing group of people to work with towards bringing my story to the big screen. Tom Shadyac is a good man with an amazing life altering story of his own. He’ll get the job done.”

ShivHans Pictures has produced critically acclaimed films including DANNY COLLINS, TRUMBO and most recently CAPTAIN FANTASTIC starring Viggo Mortensen in an Academy-Award nominated performance. ShivHans’ fourth feature, THE POLKA KING, a comedy starring Jack Black, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews.

Tom Shadyac is represented by Adam Kanter at Paradigm Agency. Doug is managed by John Huddle at Fourth Wall Management and co-managed by Lou Pitt at the Pitt Group.


Tom Shadyac

 Is one of Hollywood’s most successful directors, with his films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar, Liar, Patch Adams, Bruce Almighty collectively grossing nearly 2 billion dollars of box office.  In 2011, Tom wrote and directed his first documentary, I AM, one of the highest grossing documentaries of 2011 and continues to be screened at schools and festivals around the world. The following year he produced his second documentary, Happy, directed by Academy Award nominee Roko Belic (Genghis Blues). Beneath it all, Tom is a teacher.  He led a legendary class at Pepperdine University for 8 years called Storytelling and Life to standing room only crowds.  He now offers this weekly class at both the University of Memphis and Lemoyne-Owen College, an historic black college in Soulsville, TN. Shadyac’s first book, Life’s Operating Manual (Hay House, 2012) became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than a dozen languages throughout the world.