Chelsea Peretti Makes Feature Directorial Debut With ‘First Time Female Director’ For Fox’s MarVista & Paper Kite

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EXCLUSIVE: The 2x WGA Award nominee and Brooklyn Nine-Nine cast member has wrapped production on her feature film directorial debut, First Time Female Director, Deadline has learned.

Chelsea Peretti starred, wrote and produced the Fox Entertainment MarVista and Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions movie which is set at a local theater in Glendale, CA, where a newly minted female director (Peretti) struggles to fill the shoes of her male predecessor, putting her Southern rural drama in jeopardy.

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Co-starring opposite Peretti include Blake Anderson (Woke, Workaholics), Kate Berlant (Would It Kill You to Laugh? A League of Their Own), Jak Knight (Bust Down, Big Mouth), Emmy Award winner Megan Mullally (Will & Grace, Party Down), Benito Skinner (Queer as Folk) and Megan Stalter (Hacks, Cora Bora).

There’s also appearances by Max Greenfield (New Girl, The Neighborhood), Brad Hall (Saturday Night Live), Tim Heidecker (Eastbound & Down), Natasha Leggero (Another Period, Rat in the Kitchen), Emmy winner Poehler (Russian Doll, Moxie), Andy Richter (Portlandia,Black-ish, Conan) and Xosha Roquemore (Atlanta, Space Jam: A New Legacy), the movies counts several surprise cameos.

First Time Female Director marks MarVista and FOX Entertainment’s first title to include scenes shot on its studio lot in Los Angeles, where the film’s production offices are based. In addition to Peretti, producers include Poehler, Kate Arend and Jordan Grief for Paper Kite, and Deanna Barillari (Monday, Long Weekend). The pic is executive-produced by Angie Day, Ani Kevork, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew for MarVista. WME Independent will represent sales for the film.

“This is the project of a lifetime for me — a chance to have my voice embodied by a truly brilliant ensemble of comedic actors,” Peretti tells Deadline. “I am so moved to have a prolific, beloved and sharp comedy collaborator like Amy Poehler as a producer and actor. And grateful for my champions at MarVista, who took this from script to screen. Our dream was to watch a laugh-out-loud comedy film and I cannot wait to share what we have made with audiences as soon as possible! Also, I love my lawyer. She’s great.”

“Paper Kite is thrilled to help support the hilarious Chelsea Peretti and her deeply unique and funny film. We also have loved working with MarVista and are grateful they helped make this all happen,” adds Poehler.

“Hiring ‘first time female directors’ has been a core focus of mine throughout my career,” said Hannah Pillemer, EVP of Creative at MarVista Entertainment. “The chance to support a comedic visionary like Chelsea is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we are honored she chose MarVista to go on this journey with her. Our entire team is thrilled to partner with Paper Kite, and we cannot wait for the world to see this unique and distinctively hilarious film!”

Peretti is an actress, comedian, producer and television writer who starred as Gina Linetti on the hit FOX/NBC comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which notched won 2x Primetime Emmys. Most recently, she was featured in Amazon Prime Video’s second installment of its comedy special, Yearly Departed. The two-time WGA Award nominee received nods on Parks and Recreation and received a SAG ensemble nom for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Peretti’s writing credits also include Portlandia, Sarah Silverman Program and Kroll Show, as well as Saturday Night Live. She can be heard on hit animated projects, such as Big Mouth, The Simpsons and Sing 2.  On the stage, Peretti’s hour-long stand-up special, One of the Greats, was released in 2014 on Netflix, and her half-hour special, Comedy Central Presents, aired in 2011. Most recently, Peretti hosted Variety’s Power of Women celebration in 2021 and the Writers Guild Awards in 2019.

Music for the film is from longtime Peretti collaborator KoOoLkOjAk, who has composed and produced hit songs for Doja Cat, Sean Paul, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Ke$ha and DMX, as well as having written original songs for box office smashes Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lorax, Boss Baby, The Book of Life and The Lego Movie franchise.

Chelsea is repped by CAA, Range Media Partners, and Melissa Fox at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox.


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