Cara Santana to Make Directorial Debut with Documentary Film “The Shuffle”

Cara Santana is heading behind the lens…

The Latina actress will make her directorial debut with The Shuffle, a documentary on the corruption of the addiction treatment industry, which she’s producing alongside Andrew Renzi’s North of Now.

Cara SantanaDeveloped over the last two years, The Shuffle follows what she says is a $43B-a-year con that’s proliferated in the U.S. through the brokering and trafficking of vulnerable people in recovery by profiting off of their insurance.

The film is said to go to the heart of why America has the largest drug epidemic in the Western world — the profit is in the treatment, not the cure.

“Sober for 20 years, I started noticing the disturbing trend of patient brokering in the rehabilitation industry which was ripe for insurance fraud, but what I uncovered was a massive $43B a year con,” Santana told Deadline. “After developing the story for over 2 years, I found my partner in Andrew Renzi’s North of Now. I was a huge fan of his work and I knew he would be the perfect partner to tell the story with.”

Pre-production commences in August, although some of the film has already been shot; Santana self-financed a portion of the development materials in South Florida last year, which has been used to secure financing.

An actress, activist and director, Santana was most recently seen starring opposite Marcia Gay Harden and Halston Sage in the film Daughter of the Bride from MarVista Entertainment.

Previously, she’s been seen in CBS’ The Neighborhood, Starz’s Vida, Fox’s Salem, Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet and Facebook Watch’s The Real Bros of Simi Valley, along with a number of indies.

In addition to The Shuffle, Santana’s behind-the-camera ambitions include the upcoming feature Steps, which she wrote and is working to develop. The film is based on true events that depict the intertwined lives of six people struggling with addiction and their journey to recovery over three decades.

She’s also producing and developing a dark comedy series that dives into the world of Instagram-based prostitution.

Frankie Quinones & His Fellow Dress Up Gang Members to Star in Their First Feature Film as a Comedy Troupe

Frankie Quinones is dressing up for the box office…

The 40-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian and actor and his fellow The Dress Up Gang comedy troupe members are currently in production on their first feature film, The Dress Up Gang Movie which is being produced by Tideline Entertainment and Mountain Top Pictures.

Filming will take place in Los Angeles.

Frankie Quinones, The Dress Up Gang,Founded in 2008, The Dress Up Gang is comprised of Robb Boardman, DeMorge Brown, Kevin Camia, Donny Divanian, Christian Duguay, Kirk Fox, Cory Loykasek, Quinones and Brent Weinbach.

The film written by the group’s Loykasek, Boardman and Divanian is a comedy adventure about our connection to houseplants, nature, and each other.

Blurb: Cory spends his days isolated and working from home until he becomes entangled with a mysterious figure known only as “the Plantman,” a vigilante who breaks into people’s homes to rescue plants that aren’t being watered. Cory is suddenly thrust outdoors, into an underground world of plant-lovers, secret greenhouses, and rogue hardware store employees who will stop at nothing to save the dying plants of the city. When a mob of negligent plant owners form to hunt down Plantman, Cory’s new allegiances are tested and he’s forced to answer a big question: how far would you go to save a dying plant?

Boardman directs and with Quinones, who has starred in What We Do in the Shadows and This Fool), Loykasek, Divinian and Fox starring.

“Creating stories with The Dress Up Gang is something I’ve been passionate about since we started working together well over a decade ago,” says Quinones. “We’re so excited to bring this film to a larger audience, with partners who believe in our vision and aesthetic. In collaboration with Tideline and Mountain Top Pictures, we bring the audience into a world of plants, helping people reconnect with what’s important through The Dress Up Gang’s lens.”

“It’s an absolute delight to partner with The Dress Up Gang team on their very first movie,” said Hannah Pillemer, EVP and Head of Creative & Production of Tideline parent, MarVista Entertainment. “Frankie, Cory, Robb, Donny and the whole gang are a comedic force who are shaping the boundaries of contemporary comedy, which falls right in line with the kind of imaginative entertainment Tideline produces.”

Cara Santana to Star in “Daughter of the Bride”

Bride on, Cara Santana!

The 37-year-old Latina actress has signed on to star opposite Marcia Gay Harden, Halston Sage, Andrew Richardson and Aidan Quinn in Annette Haywood-Carter’s indie comedy Daughter of the Bride (w/t) for MarVista Entertainment and Particular Crowd.

Cara SantanaThe film currently in production centers on Diane (Harden) and Kate (Sage) — mother and daughter and inseparable friends, whose lives are turned upside down when mom announces her engagement to a mystery man (Quinn) that she’s been dating for only a few weeks. In a series of comical events, Kate must come to terms with letting her mother be happy with someone else while she navigates her own love life and career aspirations. Kate subconsciously tries to sabotage the wedding plans, despite officiating the ceremony, and unexpectedly meets a mystery man (Richardson) of her own that seems too good to be true.

Karen Bloch Morse wrote the script.

The film is being co-produced by MarVista and Particular Crowd, with MarVista’s Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer, and Fernando Szew and Particular Crowd’s Mariana Sanjurjo, Peter Bevan and Tomás Yankelevich exec producing. Summer Crockett Moore, Cara Santana, Julie Yorn, and Patrick Walmsley will serve as executive producers.

Santana appeared on Starz’s drama series Vida, and on the Netflix comedy series Santa Clarita Diet, opposite Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. She was also seen starring in Jimmy Tatro’s series The Real Bros of Simi Valley for Facebook Watch,  prior to that appearing in Malcolm Goodwin’s Be the Light and WGN’s Salem.