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  • Assembly Line Entertainment Founder & NYFA Producing Alum Janek Ambros Shares Exciting Slate of Upcoming Projects and Collaborations with Fellow Producing Alum Robbie Leacock

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    After graduation, it’s straight to set for many alumni; but for others, it means a new era of innovation injected into the film industry by bringing in new, incredible stories to new audiences. MFA Producing alum Janek Ambros decided to do just that by starting up his own international production company, Assembly Line Entertainment, which has already had films appear in festivals all over the world including Sundance and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

    “When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I took a production company course at NYFA,” recalled Ambros. “It was in that class where I created the company logo, and the type of company I’d want (heavily inspired by American Zoetrope). Seven years later, we’re on a very similar path that was outlined in class – starting with shorts and moving on to high-end festivals like Sundance and TIFF, with more development focused on projects we make from the ground up. It’s testament to NYFA’s goal of learning by doing.”

    Janek Ambros (Right) at TIFF for Assembly Line Pictures’ ‘Human Capital’

    Assembly Line Entertainment already boasts an impressive filmography, including 10,000 Saints (Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld), Human Capital (Maya Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Alex Wolff), and documentary Imminent Threat (Dir. Janek Ambros), among others. 

    “We’re excited to be working on a new large slate of movies going into 2021 that we’re producing with our new Head of Production, Kahlilah King,” shared Ambros. “From traditional narratives to social impact docu-series, we [Assembly Line Entertainment] have many projects that are adapting to the ever-changing landscape of distribution.”

    Alex Wolff (Left) and Maya Hawke (Right) in ‘Human Capital’ (Photo Courtesy of Assembly Line Entertainment)

    Some of those upcoming projects slated for release include Mondo Hollywoodland (Dir. Janek Ambros), animated political satire First New Nation, an untitled birthing docu-series (Written by Khaliah King), and Sixties, a digital campaign on social media that features 60-second films from countries all over the world to highlight new developing directors.

    Another upcoming project is feature film Hey, Johnny, directed by Ambros and produced by fellow NYFA Producing alum Robbie Leacock, who previously also produced Imminent Threat, serves as the executive producer the Sixties project, and is writing and producing upcoming mockumentary series The Flat Tyres for Assembly Line Entertainment. 

    Robbie Leacock (Left) on set of ‘The Flat Tyres’ (Photo Courtesy of Assembly Line Entertainment)

    After graduating from NYFA, Leacock started at Potboiler Productions as a producer’s assistant before moving up to assistant producer. He later served as an associate producer on Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort before returning to the U.S. to join producing partner Janek Ambros at Assembly Line Entertainment. “We were always told that the relationships you build at film school are the ones that will last throughout your career, and this proved to be so true,” revealed Leacock. “We now have our first TV series in the works (The Flat Tyres), a satirical comedy about a gang of hijackers from the townships, for which we are currently shooting on location in Cape Town, South Africa.”

    With a slate of upcoming projects and new opportunities for Ambros’ production company, 2021 is set to be the biggest year yet for Assembly Line Entertainment and the NYFA alumni, who are working to create character-driven projects for audiences that reflect modern society.

    Assembly Line Pictures Founder Janek Ambros

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Alumni Janek Ambros and Robbie Leacock on their upcoming projects with Assembly Line Entertainment and looks forward to hearing about new projects as they develop. 

    NYFA also encourages readers to check out Assembly Line Entertainment’s Instagram account, where their project Sixties will officially be launched. For a full list of the company’s productions, click here.

    Assembly Line Entertainment
    Founder: Janek Ambros
    Producer: Robbie Leacock

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  • MFA Producing Grad’s Political Documentary Available on Amazon

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    When we last spoke with MFA Producing graduate Janek Ambros, he had just premiered his film Ten Thousand Saints (which he co-produced) at Sundance. He briefly mentioned his upcoming directorial debut film, Imminent Threat, which has now come to fruition. The documentary film, produced by Academy Award nominee James Cromwell, focuses on the War on Terror’s impact on civil liberties — certainly a hot topic in our currently heated presidential race for 2016.

    The documentary examines the 2001 AUMF days after 9/11, foreign entanglements abroad, the war on journalism, and the NSA. With interviews from prominent liberals (ACLU, CodePink) and conservatives (Cato Institute, R Congressmen), the film shows the unusual coalition being formed to challenge the two-party system and strike a better balance between security and liberty.

    “The film also tackles a larger issue: the fact that these issues aren’t conservative versus liberal, they’re instead about basic rights that are enshrined in the bill of rights and the basis of the United States and the rule of law,” says Ambros. “The film gives the issues context by discussing the war on terror abroad, the use of target killings by drones, and the NSA’s mass surveillance program.”

    Ambros said he was originally drawn to the project because he noticed that a “massive encroachment on civil liberties” was coming from the very same political party that criticized the Bush administration.

    “It showed a massive hypocrisy of the democratic establishment, and I felt a documentary should be made about how liberal democrats and libertarian republicans can work together to strike a better balance between security and liberty,” said Ambros.

    ambros

    Janek Ambros at the LA premiere of Imminent Threat

    What has certainly helped give the film notoriety, including a recent write up in Deadline, is having James Cromwell attached as producer of the film.

    “James loved the film and he was willing to put his name on it as a political endorsement,” recalled Ambros. “He’s one of the great character actors of all time. I really admire him as an outspoken individual and activist, so I was extremely lucky and fortunate.”

    You can now rent or purchase Imminent Threat on Amazon.

    In three weeks, Ambros will be shooting his next film, Valley of Bones, starring Autumn Reeser.

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    September 10, 2015 • Documentary Filmmaking, Filmmaking, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 5104