SOURCE: Picturehouse

May 01, 2007 17:06 ET

"American Girl" Search Is On

Open Casting Calls in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York Seek Girls to Be Cast in "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mystery," the First Theatrical Adaptation of An American Girl Story; An HBO Films Production for Release by Picturehouse

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- Open casting calls at American Girl Place retail stores in Los Angeles (May 7), Chicago (May 8) and New York (May 14) will seek young aspiring actresses, ages 8-12, to take on roles in "KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL MYSTERY," the first theatrical adaptation of an American Girl story, it was announced today by Bob Berney, president of Picturehouse, and Colin Callender, president, HBO Films.

Further information on the casting calls, along with applications and release forms, can be found at American Girl's website, www.americangirl.com. The film, which begins shooting this summer, will be released by Picturehouse on July 2, 2008.

"This is such a wonderful opportunity for us -- to go across the country looking for girls that love these characters as much as we do, and give them the chance to join us in bringing this inspirational story to the screen," said producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Academy Award® nominee Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine") will star as Kit Kittredge in the film. Produced by HBO Films, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Marisa Yeres, from Goldsmith-Thomas Productions, in association with Julia Roberts and Lisa Gillan from Red Om Films, and Ellen L. Brothers of American Girl, Inc., the film is written by Ann Peacock ("A Lesson Before Dying," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe") and tells the story of the clever and resourceful Kit Kittredge, a nine-year-old girl growing up in 1934 during America's Great Depression.

Introduced in 2000 as the seventh American Girl historical character, Kit Kittredge will be the first one to have her story adapted for a theatrical film. Working in partnership with American Girl for the last five years, Goldsmith-Thomas Productions and Red Om Films have received nominations and awards for their telefilms "Samantha: An American Girl Holiday," "Felicity: An American Girl Adventure," and "Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front."

HBO and American Girl, one of the nation's top direct marketers, children's publishers and experiential retailers, have an overall relationship to develop a variety of multi-platform ventures including theatrical films, series, specials and documentaries. This film will be the first picture greenlit through this deal.

About HBO Films

HBO Films, a division of Home Box Office, produces movies for the network as well as films for theatrical release. Since 1989, HBO Films' acclaimed movies and miniseries, which include "Elizabeth I," "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," "Angels in America," "Wit" and "Empire Falls," have garnered 130 Emmy® Awards, winning the Outstanding Made for Television Movie Emmy® 12 of the last 14 years.

HBO Films has captured 47 Golden Globe Awards since 1985, winning the Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV award for nine of the last 13 years. Most recently, "Elizabeth I" earned three Golden Globes, for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Best Actress (Helen Mirren) and Best Supporting Actor (Jeremy Irons). Since 2003, HBO Films has received three Oscar® nominations -- Catalina Sandino Moreno in the Best Actress category for "Maria Full Of Grace," "Yesterday" in the Best Foreign Language Film and "American Splendor" for Best Adapted Screenplay.

HBO Films won the Palme d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for director Gus Van Sant's "Elephant"; Van Sant was also honored with the award for Best Director. At the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, "Rocket Science" earned the Best Directing: Dramatic Award for writer/director Jeffrey Blitz; the film is scheduled to be released by Picturehouse this August.

About American Girl

American Girl, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) (www.mattel.com), the world's leading toy company. Since American Girl's inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators.

American Girl dolls, books and related products are sold exclusively through the company's consumer catalogue, online at www.americangirl.com, and at American Girl Place®, its proprietary retail stores in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005 or visit www.americangirl.com.

About Picturehouse

Picturehouse is a theatrical motion picture company that produces, acquires and releases feature films. Currently in release is Guillermo del Toro's triple Oscar®-winning gothic fairy tale "Pan's Labyrinth," which has currently grossed a record-breaking $37 million in North America. Up next is "Gracie," directed by Oscar®-winner Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth") and starring Oscar®-Nominee Elisabeth Shue, Andrew Shue and Carly Schroeder ("Firewall," "Mean Creek"); Olivier Dahan's Edith Piaf biopic, "La Vie en Rose"; "El Cantante," a music-infused biography of Puerto Rican, salsa pioneer Hector Lavoe, starring Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony; "Rocket Science," the first narrative film from Jeffrey Blitz ("Spellbound") which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival where it received rave reviews and won the Directing Prize, and Francois Girard's "Silk," starring Michael Pitt, Keira Knightley, Koji Yakusho, and Alfred Molina.

For further information on the casting call, please visit the American Girl website at www.americangirl.com

Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact:

    NEW YORK:

    Nina Baron
    Picturehouse
    212-303-1734

    Tom Piechura
    42West
    212-277-7552

    LOS ANGELES:

    Vicky Eguia
    Picturehouse
    310-246-7608

    Susan Ciccone
    42West
    646-467-9069