After just eight months in operation New York's ContentFilm, run by indie stalwarts Ed Pressman and John Schmidt, has announced its fifth fully-financed film to go into production, a sexually-twisted psychological horror called Love Object.

Said to combine elements of Demon Seed and Chucky with those of Roman Polanski's early classics, the film is written and directed by Robert Parigi, and stars Desmond Harrington (Ghost Ship, We Were Soldiers) and Melissa Sagemiller (Sorority Boys, Soul Survivors). The film is slated to start shooting in Los Angeles as early as next month and is produced by Lawrence Levy and Kathleen Haase, with Pressman, Schmidt and ContentFilm's Alessandro Camon serving as executive producers.

Love Object is the tale of a socially insecure technical writer who forms an obsessive relationship with an anatomically accurate silicone sex doll he orders over the Internet. When his newfound romantic skills attract the attention of a female co-worker, the writer then finds himself trapped in a perverse triangle, torn between the dominating, silicone doll and the flesh-and-blood colleague.

Pressman and Schmidt, who serve as chairman and president respectively, launched ContentFilm on September 7 last year with a mandate to finance, produce and distribute an initial slate of twelve to fifteen director-driven feature films to be shot mainly, but not exclusively, on digital video. Indeed, Smidt points out that Love Object will be shot on super 16mm film before being later blown up to 35mm using the latest digital transfer technology.

ContentFilm is funded by a number of equity investors, including lead investor Syntek Capital, a major new European venture fund based in Munich, Milan and London. Since unfurling their production banners, Pressman and Schmidt have put films into production at a breakneck pace, enough, in, fact, says Schmidt to start discussing long-term ties with a foreign sales agent. "We are evolving now towards relationships in key territories," said Schmidt yesterday. Budgets have so far ranged up to $5m.

Three films have already wrapped: The Cooler, a dark comedy set in Las Vegas starring William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin, The Guys, the film version of AnneNelson's acclaimed post-9/11 play starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia, and The Hebrew Hammer, a "Jewxploitation" action-comedy starring Adam Goldberg, Mario Van Peebles and Andy Dick.

Just going into production is Party Monster, the chilling story of New York club-kid killer Michael Alig, starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green. Just like Hebrew Hammer, Party Monster is being shot in 24P, the high-end digital video camera.

In addition, the company acquired worldwide rights to Larry Fessenden's acclaimed cult thriller Wendigo, working with Magnolia Pictures on the film's domestic release in January.

"Love Object is that rare thriller that combines both the smart psychological script with a classic genre film payoff," said Pressman in announcing the production. "Robert Parigi is a technically savvy filmmaker with a great sense of what will make audiences squirm."

Love Object is the first feature Robert Parigi will direct. He interned with Michael DeLuca at New Line Cinema in New York while earning a Masters' degree in philosophy. Parigi worked as a screenwriter on Blair Witch 2 and The Mirror for Artisan and his original screenplay Chrome Gothic is being optioned by Andrew Mason, producer on The Matrix. Parigi most recently served as consulting producer on Fear.Com, a horror feature picked up by Sony for worldwide theatrical distribution, with Warner Bros. releasing in North America.

Said Parigi: "With Love Object, I want to explore the darker corners of erotic horror by making a film that will scare you in very personal and intimate ways."