Protagonist Pictures Boards Riley Keough’s Cannes Title ‘War Pony’

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Protagonist Pictures have boarded Riley Keough’s directorial debut “War Pony” (previously known as “Beast.”)

Keough (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) co-directed the feature with Gina Gammell (“Manodrome”). It is set to premiere at Cannes next month in the Un Certain Regard strand of the festival.

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Protagonist will rep international sales on the project while CAA Media Finance is handling North American sales.

Inspired by real events and starring Jojo Bapteise Whiting and LaDainian Crazy Thunder, “War Pony” tells the story of two boys – 23-year-old Bill and 12-year-old Matho – growing up on Pine Ridge Reservation in the U.S. While Bill is reaching for the American Dream, Matho is desperate to become a man and seeks approval from his father. “Bound by their shared search for belonging, each of the boys grapple with identity, family, and loss, as they navigate their unique paths to manhood,” reads the logline.

Keough and Gammell co-wrote the film with Bill Reddy and Franklin Sioux Bob and produce alongside Willi White, Bert Hamelinck (“Sound of Metal”), Ryan Zacarias (“A Ciambra”) and Sacha Ben Harroche (“Sound of Metal”).

“After spending many years with friends who are from Pine Ridge town, we developed these deeply personal stories together mostly based on their lives and true events”, said Gammell and Keough. “We are incredibly honored to share them with the world.”

Janina Vilsmaier, head of sales at Protagonist Pictures, said: “Gina and Riley’s genuine connection to their collaborators is evident in this deeply authentic portrayal of characters living within this connected, caring community. We are also thrilled to be reuniting with the producers of “Sound of Metal” and “The Rider” and with Riley Keough as well after the incredible experience we had on “American Honey.” The fact that we’ll all be together again in Cannes makes this all the more special.”

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