EXCLUSIVE: MindRiot Entertainment, the transatlantic indie behind Danielle Deadwyler’s Parallel, and the upcoming OceanGate pic Salvaged, is heading to the 2024 Summer Olympics with their next feature, Four The Yard.
As we reported last month, Four The Yard is a feature based on the memoir of former pro skater Josh Swindell. At the Olympic games, the MindRiot team, including Justin MacGregor, Head of European Content, and company founder Jonathan Keasey, will capture footage of competing street skaters for the pic. One Paris-bound skater signed up for the shoot is Canadian Olympic skater and X-Games gold medalist Ryan DeCenzo. DeCenzo has also signed on to be a consultant on the feature.
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Keasey is currently adapting Swindell’s memoir, which has yet to be published. The former pro skater had previously been widely regarded as the future of the sport by grandees such as Christian Hosoi, Tony Hawk, and Steve Caballero. He also crossed over into motocross and is still sponsored by Vans. In October 1995, however, Swindell was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Keith Ogden, whom he beat to death outside a bar in Azusa, California. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison and was released in 2012 after spending almost 20 years behind bars. The case has been the center of controversy over the years, with George W. Trammell, the judge who presided over the case, later being charged and pleading guilty to federal corruption charges.
“Our canvas doesn’t just start and stop when Swindell was sent to prison and then released for a hate crime the law confirms he didn’t commit. There is so much more here,” MacGregor said of the film.
Keasey and MacGregor have said the film will also center on the relationship between Swindell and three close friends he made during his time in prison, including Jerome Dixon, who was released after 21 years in prison for a murder he maintains he did not commit. Dixon’s case has been high profile amongst prison reform activists.
“Shawshank Redemption, only fact, not fiction,” MacGregor said Swindell’s story.
Four The Yard is part of MindRiot’s upcoming slate of projects, which includes Salvaged, co-produced by E. Brian Dobbins (The Blackening, Black-ish), and Druid Rising, which will be co-produced with Ireland’s Newgrange Pictures.
Keasey is repped by Circle of Confusion and lawyers David Matlof and Adam Vitable of Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman and Dr. Justin MacGregor is Head of Film at Trinity College Dublin.
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