WOMEN RULE LIFETIME’S NEWLY GREENLIT ANN RULE MOVIES
INSPIRED BY NOVELS FROM THE QUEEN OF TRUE CRIME
Female Auspices On Films Surpass Industry Averages
With Female Directors Accounting for Four out of the Five Movies Including
Ashley Williams and Robin Givens In Their Movie Directorial Debuts,
and Female Writers Penning Three of the Five Movies
Titles Include Bestsellers
Danger In The Dorm, Mortal Danger,
Practice To Deceive, Bitter Harvest
and A Murder to Remember Adapted from Empty Promises
Los Angeles, CA (March 12, 2020) – It is time to get entangled in a web of murder, lies and deception as Lifetime greenlights five new movies from NY Times best-selling true crime author Ann Rule for the network’s summer Ripped from the Headlines slate. With the success of previous Ann Rule books turned into movies for Lifetime including Too Late to Say Goodbye with Rob Lowe, Hunt for the I-5 Killer with John Corbett, Everything She Ever Wanted with Gina Gershon, and Capture of the Green River Killer with Tom Cavanagh, Lifetime will once again delve into the prolific writer’s library to adapt the riveting true crime novels into movies. The titles include Danger In The Dorm, Mortal Danger, Practice to Deceive, Bitter Harvest and Empty Promises, in which the movie version would be entitled A Murder to Remember. Casting is currently underway on the movies.
Females rule the upcoming Ann Rule productions in key writing and directing roles, far exceeding industry averages for writers and directors*. Female directors make up 80% of these five titles. Additionally, three of the five directors are women of color, accounting for 60%. Also, three of the five films are written by women, also accounting for 60%.
Ashley Williams, who recently starred in Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer from Lifetime’s Winter Ripped from the Headlines slate, will also make her film directorial debut with Practice to Deceive. As part of Lifetime’s Broader Focus initiative which supports the hiring of women in key production roles, Williams shadowed director Michael Nankin while making the Chris Watts film to prep her to direct this new project. Robin Givens (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne) will also make her directorial debut withA Murder to Remember, based on the novel, Empty Promises. The additional directors include Karen Lam (Evangeline) for Danger in the Dorm, Shamim Sarif (Despite the Falling Snow) for Bitter Harvest and David Weaver (The Samaritan) for Mortal Danger.
Writers include Ramona Barckert, Christina Ray, Amber Benson, Richard Blaney and Gregory Small, Conor Allyn and Benjamin Anderson.
Additionally as part of the Broader Focus initiative, of the Lifetime Original Movies slated for air from January through July 2020, 68% of those films are written by women, 57% are directed by women and 53% are executive produced by women, far surpassing industry averages*.
Full descriptions of the movies inspired by Ann Rule’s novels are listed below.
Danger In The Dorm
When honor student Becky Swafford is murdered in her dorm room, a quiet college campus becomes terrorized by the threat of a serial killer. Detectives work relentlessly to catch her killer, but they are stumped when more victims come forward and no discernible pattern is detected. Despite the odds, Becky’s best friend Kathleen and her grieving mother Grace refuse to give up on solving her murder, even when it means risking their own lives. Danger In The Dorm is one of Rule’s earliest true crime stories, published over four decades ago. The film is produced by Danger Films, Inc. and Christian Bruyere and executive produced by Howard Braunstein, Ilene Kahn Power, Conor Allyn and Benjamin Anderson. Ramona Barckert serves as writer and Karen Lam will direct.
Paul Carter was like a knight in shining armor when he met flight attendant Grace Tanner and swept her into a passionate love affair. But her dream man quickly became her nightmare as his jealous rage ultimately led to a brutal attack. Incredibly, Grace was able to escape and go into hiding. Fearing for her future, Grace works with the police to bring Paul to justice. Produced by Lighthouse Pictures, Mortal Danger is executive produced by Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson, Jamie Goehring, Shawn Williamson, Manu Boyer and Kim Raver. Richard Blaney and Gregory Small serve as writers and will be directed by David Weaver.
A Murder to Remember
Inspired by Ann Rule’s true crime collection Empty Promises, A Murder to Remember follows Javier and Robin Rivera as they celebrate their one-year anniversary on a camping trip. But when it goes terribly awry and Javier ends up dead, Robin finds herself alone in the rough wilderness. She accepts help from another camper, a mysterious stranger named Sam, and slowly places her life is in his hands. But is Sam there to protect Robin? Or does she need protecting from him? A Murder to Remember is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment. Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson and Leslie Greif serve as executive producers, and Amber Benson wrote the script. Actress Robin Givens will make her directorial debut with this movie.
Practice to Deceive
A small island community is turned upside down when local business man Russel Douglas is found dead the day after Christmas. Through an investigation that twists and winds its way through neighbors, a wife, and best friends, Russel’s murderer is finally revealed. The film is produced by Lighthouse Pictures. Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson, Jamie Goehring, Shawn Williamson and Barbara Lieberman serve as executive producers. Practice to Deceive will mark Ashley Williams’ television movie directorial debut from a script written by Christina Ray.
Bitter Harvest follows brilliant doctor and mother Debora Green who had the epitome of a picture perfect life with three children, adoring husband and beautiful house in an opulent neighborhood. But behind the curtain is a rocky marriage that takes a terrible turn and leaves her family and marriage in ruin. Bitter Harvest is produced by Bitter Harvest Films Inc. and Juliette Hagopian. Howard Braunstein, Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson, and Sheri Singer serve as executive producers. Also, Allyn and Anderson wrote the script that Shamim Sarif will direct.
*Industry averages are according to the study, Boxed In 2018-19: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television, females writers account for 35%, and female directors are 26%.
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About Broader Focus
The Broader Focus™ initiative from Lifetime® is dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers. Lifetime believes that the best creative product will be achieved when diverse voices are creating the media images we consume. While women continue to be extremely underrepresented in all behind-the-scenes roles, Lifetime is leading the entertainment industry by hiring women for these vital positions.
Celebrating over 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies, high-quality scripted series and breakout non-fiction series. Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long-running Stop Breast Cancer for Life, Stop Violence Against Women, and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color, to make its content. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
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