BROADWAYWORLD.COM – Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Hal Linden, star of the long running series “Barney Miller,” and Ryan Ochoa, star of the hit Disney series “Pair of Kings” have joined the cast of the indie film “The Samuel Project” which will begin principal photography in San Diego this week. The film, helmed by Marc Fusco, the former Steven Spielberg assistant who directed the comedy “My Uncle Rafael” and heist film “Stealing Time,” tells the story of a teen (Ochoa) who gets to know his grandfather Samuel (Linden) when he makes him the subject of an animated art project for school. With dreams of becoming a professional artist, the young man discovers that his grandpa, a Jewish dry cleaner, was heroically saved from Nazi capture in Germany by a young woman when he was a boy.
Penned by Fusco and co-writer Chris Neighbors, The Samuel Project will also star Ken Davitian of Sacha Baron Cohen’s blockbuster mockumentary “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” Mateo Arias from Disney’s hit series “Kickin’ It,” and Michael B. Silver from “Shameless” and “NYPD Blue.” Rounding out the cast as a self-absorbed teacher is Philippe Bowgen who is currently playing the title role of Pablo Picasso in Steve Martin’s play “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” on stage at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego.
The Samuel Project is being produced by Steve Weinberger, Rebecca Reyes, and executive producer Jeff Deverett of Deverett Media.
“Though there’s a good bit of humor that comes inherently with the generation gap between grandsons and grandfathers,” acknowledges director Fusco, “I think telling the story of someone, who barely escaped Nazi Germany as a boy, through the lens of his grandson’s art project will provide a unique glimpse of what the legacy of so many survivors might look like today, with the good and the bad.”
The Samuel Project will be shooting on location throughout March and April in San Diego with an expected completion in Fall of 2017.