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Multi-talented filmmaker Ricky Cruz set to produce the upcoming film 'Anti-Hero'
Since making his way across the globe from South Africa to his new home in Los Angeles, CA, multi-hyphenate film pro Ricky Cruz has made an astonishing mark in the Hollywood film industry.

Cruz has been the producer behind a slew of internationally praised projects that span the big and small screen, such as "Mixed Order," "Foible," "Pigeon Hole," "The Neighbor" and more. Since 2018 he's earned a whopping 13 awards, as well as 7 award nominations for his work as a producer, director, writer and actor. While he's been recognized for his work in each of those areas, it is his work as a producer that really stands out.

"Versatility is key and the name of the game in producing and filmmaking and the more versatile of a creative producer and filmmaker you are, the more productions there are for you to create and generate opportunities for industry professionals because of your hyphenate abilities, experience and status," explains Cruz.

"Producing really puts you in the centre of the action. To spearhead the execution of such an enormous creative endeavor like making a film, means that I have a very interesting job that never really calls for the exact same work... producing films is really one of the most unique and satisfying real life creative process, it's like painting an ever-changing sculpture."

After earning Best Romantic Comedy from the Los Angeles Film Awards for the film "Mixed Order," which Cruz wrote, produced and directed, as well as awards from the IndieFEST Film Awards for the films "Foible" and "The Neighbor," two other films that he produced, it's not surprising that Cruz is being sought out by productions throughout Hollywood to come on board as a producer.

"I love a hybrid blend between outlandish characters and awkward and uncomfortable humor because not only was that the humor I grew up on, but I think it is the most honest depiction of life. I am attracted to real and relatable stories told through the perspective of a dynamic character," explains Cruz about the projects he chooses to produce.

"I'm the kind of producer who seeks out and loves to be a part of these exciting original approaches to filmmaking, be them through the unconventional characters we find ourselves supporting, the taboo subculture explored or the morality expressed through the script."

One of the highly anticipated projects Cruz is busy producing at the moment is the upcoming film "AntiHero" directed by Screen Actors Guild nominee and 48 hour Film Project Award winner Michael McCartney ("The Millionaires," "Halloween: Resurrection"), who Cruz has collaborated with on multiple occasions in the past.

"[AntiHero] is a dark comedy like no other I have had the opportunity to be a part of. The twisted sense of humor and unique voice and perspective is indicative of the kind of film I love to watch and analyze. The film sits somewhere in the world of 'Limitless' meeting 'Taxi Driver'," explains Cruz.

"With the recent success of independent films like 'You Were Never Really Here,' there is a definite audience eager for these kind of films, and as a member of that demographic I'm so honored to be working on something I think I would enjoy watching."

The upcoming feature film "AntiHero" follows an artistic prodigy and recovering addict who, due to the side effects from a new rehabilitation drug, deteriorates into a homicidal idealist bent on cleansing society of everything he once stood for.

"Everything in the script seems to work against conventions and that's an exciting prospect, as powerful of a tool as familiarity is, I think there's a real edge in exploring new ideas and experimentation to remind audiences that there is still a definite art form that can be used to express powerful ideas through embracing or deliberately ignoring conventions. Films are endlessly original and it's through exploration that we see the true power of storytelling," says Cruz.

As a lead producer on "AntiHero" Cruz will be responsible for managing the production budget, pre-production logistics such as location scouting, casting additional talents and more. He will also be actively involved in many of the creative elements of the film.

Some of the other projects that Cruz has produced that share similarities to "AntiHero" include the arthouse parody film "Pigeon Hole" featuring Mindy Sterling ("Austin Powers"),  the experimental documentary "Improv A Saving Grace," which explores the healing effects of live comedy on trauma, grief and loss, and "The American," which was nominated for an award at the Miami Independent Film Festival and features Phyllis Katz ("Zombeavers"). Cruz also produced the Mediterranean Film Festival Award nominated miniseries "Party Animals," which centers on the disappearance of an icon mascot pig that ignites a twisted war.

With the production for "AntiHero" slated to begin later this year, Cruz is bursting with excitement over the upcoming project as he continues to prepare all of the pre-production logistics for the film.

"My responsibilities promise an incredibly challenging but very fulfilling creative producer experience," says Cruz. "I love being a part of projects that would excite me as an audience member and I think 'AntiHero' is exactly that kind of project? The film is the manifestation of a collection of personal areas of interest and tells an engaging story in a subculture I think audiences will find very interesting and relatable. Everybody has vices that burden them and 'AntiHero' embraces a unique artistic approach to a twisted and tragic story about the struggle of self control."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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