July 7, 2016
SHIVHANS PICTURES TO PRODUCE AND FINANCE “THE POLKA KING” STARRING JACK BLACK IN RHODE ISLAND THIS SUMMER
Acclaimed actor and musician Jack Black (“School of Rock”, “Kung Fu Panda”) stars in the new feature film comedy “The Polka King”, written and directed by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky. Ms. Forbes and Mr. Wolodarksy previously collaborated on the Golden Globe nominated movie, “Infinitely Polar Bear”, which was produced in the Ocean State in the summer of 2013 and co-wrote “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Monsters Vs Aliens”.
Principal photography for “The Polka King” is slated for mid-July through mid-August, 2016 at various locations across Rhode Island.
Shivani Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures will finance the comedy and produce alongside Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films, and David Permut’s Permut Presentations. David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Jack Black, and Priyanka Mattoo will produce. Cumberland, Rhode Island native Erika Hampson will executive produce.
Inspired by true events, “The Polka King” tells the story of local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan, who develops a plan to get rich that shocks his fans.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo stated, “With our unique locations in close proximity and an organized talent pool of local artists and professional technicians, Rhode Island is the perfect place to make a successful movie. I am pleased that many small businesses will be impacted by this film. This is the type of positive energy that keeps our economy moving forward.”
Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, said, “Due to the leadership of Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly, and with the help of our many Ambassadors in the public and private sector, we are delighted to be able to welcome back writers/directors Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky, along with their talented team of artists, to our beautiful Ocean State. We loved working with them before and know we can help them maximize their potential for this extraordinary project, “The Polka King”. The script is superbly written and we look forward to seeing Jack Black unleash his talent and soar as he portrays this provocative character.”
Writers/Directors Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky stated, “We are thrilled to be back in Rhode Island, home to the best crew and greatest locations.”
Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, said, “Congratulations to the Rhode Island Film & Television Office on bringing another major motion picture production to our state. Film productions like this help to energize the Ocean State culturally and economically, and provide employment to a number of Rhode Island’s creative workers.”
House Speaker Nicholas Matiello commented, “I am excited to continue to promote the arts and filmmaking as a thriving industry in Rhode Island. Our state provides a beautiful backdrop for a variety of major motion pictures from comedies to love stories to suspense thrillers. Furthermore, this innovative industry has proven to be an economic catalyst for the talented artists and hard-working crew members, many of whom are based right here in Rhode Island. It also provides an introduction to first-time visitors who inevitably fall in love with our Ocean State.“
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed said, “The Senate is pleased to welcome another major production to our state. This project will provide direct jobs to the talented film industry professionals based in our state, indirect jobs to area small businesses, and tremendous exposure to the charm and diversity which make our state such an attractive setting to filmmakers and visitors alike.“
Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien stated, “Pawtucket is thrilled to welcome Jack Black and “The Polka King” to our great city. It’s truly exciting to have the film’s production headquarters in the city’s Armory Arts District in historic downtown, and that a number of local Pawtucket businesses are being considered for film locations.”
The Rhode Island Film & TV Office is a government agency under the umbrella of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA)