Switch & Bait Casts Leads at Catalyst Studios’

Otmara Marrero (“Start-Up”) and Katie Clarkson-Hill (“Hanna”) are set to star in “Switch & Bait” at Catalyst Studios.

Directed by Michele Salido, the pic is the first Catalyst Studios project to begin physical production. Catalyst launched its tagline in May with an initial list of six feature films directed and produced that focus on its heroines.

Principal photography began in Belgrade, Serbia, last week. Megan Mesmer and Veronica Caicedo are producing, while Catalyst Studios’ Holly Levaux, Marc Pinnell, and Paul Kampf are executive producers. Global sales are handled by Highland Film Group at Address.

Switch & Bait is based on a script by Russell Gewirtz (“Inside Man”) and tells the story of a seemingly naive girl (Clarkson-Hill) who escapes the clutches of a notorious gangster with a cell phone that holds all his secrets. A tough policewoman (Mariro), who may or may not be devious, is given the task of getting the witness in time and one piece to testify. However, in a fast-paced, action-packed pursuit, it soon emerges that not everyone is what they pretend to be.

Salido said, “From the moment I read it, I thought of Otmara Marrero in the lead role. She is the perfect blend of strength and weakness and she is not afraid to take on challenging roles that take her out of her comfort zone.”

“Katie Clarkson-Hill is a rising star and will be her partner in crime as the women embark on this cross-country journey together,” the director added. “I’ve found an unexpected artistic haven in Serbia and I’m thrilled to work with the incredibly talented crew to bring this story to life.”

Holly Leveau, president of Catalyst Studios, added: “This list covers a wide variety of films, from inspiring stories, action-adventures, and psychological thrillers. Catalyst’s mission is to highlight female talent, encouraging women in every role of the process in front of and behind the camera.”

Paul Kampf of Catalyst Studios said: “This is an ambitious project for our first Catalyst project out of the gate. But we’ve built an impressive production footprint here in Serbia. The crews are fantastic, and we’re excited that we’re finally spinning the wheels.”

Marrero is represented by innovative artists, while Hamilton Hodel is represented by Clarkson Hill.



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