Steven Shainberg to direct comedy-drama backed by new fund AngelWorld Entertainment. HanWay to handle sales.

UK/US financiers AngelWorld Entertainment (AWE), who on Saturday launched a $150m equity fund, is backing The Big Shoe, a comedy drama directed by Steven Shainberg from a script by Shainberg and Mickey Birnbaum. HanWay has come on board to handle international sales.

Jim Sturgess and Susan Sarandon headline the cast on the story of a gifted shoe designer forced to break free from a family who want to cheapen his art for their own commercial gain.

Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance Productions will produce alongside AngelWorld Entertainment’s Darby Angel.

Screen understands that more strong cast is circling the project.

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CAA, which represents Sturgess, packaged the film and represents North American rights.

Director Steve Shainberg said: “The Big Shoe provides the opportunity to explore a playful, romantic, sexy, intimate connection just as ‘Secretary’ did. The script combines eroticism and humor in such a unique way - where shoes are better than sex.”

AWE’s Darby Angel commented: “This project has all the elements we were looking for to satisfy our financing model. The script is strong, as is the cast and the creative team. It’s great to work with an experienced and reputable producer like Lazar. The Big Shoe ticks all the boxes, especially as our investment criteria are non-negotiable.”