One Village Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, has acquired all North American rights to the searing psychological thriller 'The Suspect.'

The film marks the directorial debut of acclaimed author Stuart Connelly, of West Nantmeal. 'The Suspect' stars Mekhi Phifer (8 Mile, ER), William Sadler (Iron Man 3, Machete Kills, Shawshank Redemption), Sterling K. Brown (Army Wives, Our Idiot Brother), James McCaffery (Rescue Me, Compliance) and Rebecca Creskoff (HBO's Hung, Bates Motel), and is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2014.

The film, which was shot and produced in the Tri County area, centers around a small town that encounters its first armed bank robbery at the exact moment a mysterious stranger appears. With no ID and a combative attitude, the local police struggle to tie the crime to their uncooperative suspect, but the truth is far more complicated.

'The Suspect' features a score by Stephen Coates of The Real Tuesday Weld, and is produced by Mary Jo Barthmaier, Robyn K. Bennett, Scott Aronson and Connelly.

The deal was negotiated by Brett Dismuke and Michael Bayer on behalf of One Village Entertainment and Scott Aronson and Mary Jo Barthmaier on behalf of Modoc Spring.

ITN Distribution is handling international sales and will present the thriller at the American Film Market.

'The Suspect' first premiered at the American Black Film Festival and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor for Mehki Phifer and Sterling K. Brown. The film proceeded to screen at festivals around the world including the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, AL, St. Louis Black Film Festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival, Third World International Film Festival in San Francisco, the Louisville International Film Festival, the Twin Cities Black Film Festival, the Englewood International Film Festival and the Philadelphia Film Festival.

'The Suspect' also had the special honor to screen at The Brookings Institution, where director Stuart Connelly participated in a panel discussion on the film alongside Jonathan Capehart (Washington Post, MSNBC) and Celeste Headlee (NPR Host). This marked the first time The Brookings Institution utilized a narrative feature film in one of their events.

Upcoming projects for Modoc Spring include the supernatural thriller Haven House, based on Connelly's novel of the same name.

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