Gravitas Ventures Acquires Writer / Director Joe Duca’s Sophomore Feature for North American Digital Release.
Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios Company, will release the title into millions of homes starting April 1st, 2021. Joe Duca’s gritty, existential road movie “Her Name Was Jo” was licensed for North American distribution rights to be released via cable, VOD, SVOD, subscription video, and electronic rental platforms.
The film features a stunning performance from newcomer Mary Cate Williams as Jo, a 10-year-old girl who spends her days along the Shenandoah River with her best friend Selma, fishing, scrapping for metal–surviving. When her abusive junkie stepdad over-doses on heroin, she dumps his body in the river, steals his car, and heads off, bound for Los Angeles in hopes of finding her biological father.
In Jo’s journey across the country, she contends with trains, meth heads, unexpected deaths, a lost baby, and ultimately her own wounds, in a tale that evokes the likes of Beasts of “The Southern Wild” and “Winter’s Bone.”
Executive Producer David Bianchi says, “Jo is an emotional portrayal that will awaken audiences to the grim side of Americana, told through the eyes of an innocent child.”
“Seeing the world authentically from a child’s perspective is a rare treat in cinema. With a wonderful, immersive lead performance by Mary Cate Williams, writer/director Joe Duca has taken a heartbreaking look at grinding poverty and loss in childhood, infused it with humor and heart,” Said Megan Huggins, Gravitas Ventures Acquisitions Coordinator.
Director Joe Duca recalls, “The film explores the underbelly of the heartland, the brutality, and damage of generational trauma there while celebrating childhood resilience.”
Official Worldwide Trailer
Joe Duca is most known for his award-winning indie debut feature film “Evergreen,” winner of the Houston Broadcast Critics Association’s Best Picture, Best Actress, & Best Supporting Actress Awards, Hunter Mountain Film Festival’s Best Director, and the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcases Audience Choice Award. “Her Name Was Jo” is his sophomore feature film.
Duca is represented by Wendy Shepherd of Studio Matrix.com for publicity and brand management.