Smarthouse Creative’s new distribution arm has acquired “Chatty Catties,” the debut feature from Pablo Valencia that won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival.
The dark comedy, produced by Cecilia Curran and co-written by Valencia and Dicky Bahto, features the voice talents of a cast of deaf and hearing-impaired actors led by John Autry II, a graduate of No Limits, the country’s only theater group for deaf and hard-of-hearing youth. Autry voices the sassy tabby Leonard, who is at odds with his human roommate Shelby (Megan Hensley), whose own emotional problems limit her abilities to provide for the most basic of Leonard’s needs. But when she begins a relationship with kind-hearted musician (Matthew Grathwol), Leonard sees a brighter future for both him and his owner, but it won’t come without a few emotional fireworks along the way.
“I am positively through the roof to have found a distributor like Smarthouse Creative,” said Valencia. “They truly are the filmmaker’s distributor. Every competing offer we received dramatically reaffirmed that fact. Not only were their terms fair and reasonable, but their level of care, attention, involvement, and knowledge couldn’t be rivaled. Smarthouse Creative was the only place I felt comfortable with to shepherd a film like ‘Chatty Catties’ through the current film distribution labyrinth.”
“‘Chatty Catties’ is the ideal first release for Smarthouse,” added Smarthouse Creative co-founder Brad Wilke. “It’s not your typical talking cat movie, and Smarthouse is not your typical indie film distributor. The film works great on the big screen, but plays just as well on a smartphone. And the cats’ comic timing is impeccable.”
Smarthouse plans to release the film theatrically in select cities around the country beginning in March 2016, followed by a multi-platform VOD roll-out and one-night eventized screenings in partnership with animal rights and deaf/hard-of-hearing support organizations throughout the U.S.