One-time Tampa Bay Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice is at the AFM with his feature debut Unsullied.

Not too many directors at the AFM can claim to have 122 NFL sacks under their belts or a Superbowl ring.

Simeon Rice can.

The New York Film Academy graduate and one-time Tampa Bay Bucs defensive end is at the AFM with his feature debut Unsullied, about a young woman’s fight for survival after she escapes two sociopathic hunters.

Rice told Screen that the action-thriller was inspired in part by the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men: “I wanted to pay homage to the intensity and suspense of the chase scenes in No Country For Old Men,” Rice said. 

Producers are Michelle Gracie, Ghana Cooper and John Nodilo (who wrote the screenplay from Rice’s story) and the film stars newcomer and UCLA film school alum Murray Gray as the story’s heroine, together with Rusty Joiner (Dodgeball) and James Gaudioso (Duke).

Did Rice’s 12-year NFL career prepare him for the cut and thrust of the American Film Market? “It’s a bit of a butcher’s shop. It’s like being eaten up. But it’s a necessary evil.”

How has Rice found the challenges of the film industry more generally? “I broke records throughout my career but also endured criticism at times so I’m built for adversity.”

Rice’s outfit Dreamline Pictures is now working on a slate of films, including a feature about unlicensed poker.