In THE RIGHTEOUS, a modern horror thriller, a killer (Eric Roberts as Clayton) secretly compels others to murder for him by drugging his victims, causing self-mutilation and horrible violence against those closest to them. When he chooses unsuspecting Vikki (Melissa Kunnap), she must fight her psychosis or succumb to Clayton’s murderous desires.
Set in the remote mountains of Western North Carolina, Vikki’s three friends have to choose to help her or fight for their survival.
Starring Oscar nominated & Golden Globe nominated actor Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, Runaway Train), Melissa Kunnap (Rave Party Massacre), Brian Ashton Smith, Madeline Olivia Tesh and Jeff Alexander. The film is directed by James Suttles (Shifting Gears, Alone Yet Not Alone, Red Dirt Rising), executive produced by Jennifer L. Ray and produced by Matthew Zboyovski, James Suttles, James Blankenfeld.
BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEOS
ERIC ROBERTS as Clayton
ERIC ROBERTS’ career began with a leading role in King of the Gypsies (1978), for which he received his first Golden Globe Award nomination. The Golden Globes again recognized him for his interpretation of Paul Snider in Bob Fosse’s Star 80 (1983). Roberts’ performance in Runaway Train (1985), as prison escapee Buck McGeehy, earned him a nomination for a third Golden Globe and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In a career spanning over forty years, Roberts has amassed more than 400 credits, including Raggedy Man (1981), The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), The Specialist (1994), Cecil B. Demented (2000), National Security (2003), A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), The Expendables (2010) and Inherent Vice (2014). His equally varied television work includes three seasons with the sitcom Less than Perfect, as well as recurring roles on the NBC drama Heroes and the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, as well as Saved by the Light, the legal drama Suits, and Fox’s The Finder.
MELISSA KUNNAP as Vikki
Melissa Kunnap is an Atlanta based film and Theatre actor/writer. She most recently performed with Critical Crop Top’s live sketch Show group. You can find her latest film Rave Party Massacre on Amazon prime. When not acting she enjoys spending time in nature and meditating.
BRIAN ASHTON SMITH as Michael
Brian Ashton Smith is an Atlanta based actor. He is a graduate of Morehouse College where he earned a degree in theater and a minor in psychology. He recently starred in the Stephan King short film Rainy Season, and the upcoming film Girls Life. He’s been seen on various television shows and movies including Nashville, Good Behavior, and Office Christmas Party. When not in front of the camera, he spends his time writing, acting on stage, or adventuring.
MADELINE OLIVIA TESH as Emma
Madeline Olivia Tesh is an energetic, fun-loving resident of South Carolina. She graduated from Converse College in 2014 with a B.A. in Musical Theatre. THE RIGHTEOUS is Madeline’s first professional Film project and she couldn’t have asked for a better experience! When Madeline is not spending her days collaborating with wonderful artists, you can find her enjoying life to the fullest with those she loves!
JEFF ALEXANDER as TJ
Jeff Alexander accidentally started acting when he was blackmailed by a friend to be in a short film at age 21. After thru-hiking the A.T., the hobby became an obsession and career. He has had the opportunity to be involved in many indie features and shorts; as well as movies like “Office Christmas Party” and shows like “Good Behavior” and “Mr. Mercedes.” THE RIGHTEOUS is his first horror experience.
JAMES SUTTLES - Producer & Director
James Suttles is a Producer, Director & Cinematographer striving to explore & contribute to the art of story telling through motion pictures with an emphasis on strong visual content and unique story structure. Some of his recent projects included serving as Producer/Director on the feature film “Seven Days Till Midnight″ along with serving as the Director of Photography on the feature films “Shifting Gears” and “Rave Party Massacre”. He also served as Director of Photography on the Academy Award nominated feature film “Alone Yet Not Alone”, along with “Touched by Grace”, “For the Glory” and the film “Red Dirt Rising” (that he also Producer, Co-Directed and edited). Some of his other recent projects and clients have included Huffington Post, Intel, GE, Harley Davidson, Simon and Schuster, Readers Digest, Time, Inc., ACC and various music videos including “Hooked Up” by James Wesley and “Strangest Christmas Yet” with the legendary Steve Martin. Since 2015, James has served on the Cinematography faculty at the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts with an emphasis on digital cinematography and post workflow integration in production.
JENNIFER L. RAY - Executive Producer
Originally from Miami, Florida, Jennifer (Jen) has loved and been involved in various aspects of acting from her early years. Jen has appeared in numerous theater, film, television and commercial productions as an actress and has also been involved in writing for commercials and television projects, starting behind the scenes production in 2005. Continuing to appear occasionally in front of the camera, she now maintains a larger presence behind. Jen works in various capacities to create, develop and see the fruition of innovative and unique film and television projects. Jen joined James Suttles of Suttlefilm and Asheville camera, grip and lighting rental as a partner in 2016 and served as executive producer on films Seven Days ‘Til Midnight and THE RIGHTEOUS with Eric Roberts. She is based in WNC but works on the west coast whenever possible.
MATT ZBOYOVSKI - Producer
Matt Zboyovski is a Producer from Asheville, NC. After graduating film school at the North Carolina School of the Arts in 2001, he moved to Los Angeles and worked on a variety of films (Gone in Sixty Seconds, Alpha Dog, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and television programs (America’s Got Talent,Talkshow with Spike Feresten, The GLEE Project), gaining experience and creating a strong network of industry professionals. In 2013 he returned to North Carolina to pursue his passion of Producing independent feature films. He has enjoyed teaming up with James Suttles on numerous projects over the last three years and is looking to continue building the filmmaking partnership.
JAMES BLANKENFELD - Writer / Producer
James Blankenfeld grew up watching old horror films like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Children of the Corn and fell in love with the genre. Upon graduating from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania in 2009, James moved to New York City to start working in the television industry. He got his start working as a camera operator for reality television shows like Project Runway, My Fair Wedding, and NBC’sThe Celebrity Apprentice. After a few years, he decided to channel his love for television work behind-the-scenes studying acting and screenwriting. With over 12 screenplays to his name, James’ first feature film THE RIGHTEOUS was produced after six years in the making. James now resides in Tampa, FL with his wife, their two dogs and owns his own production company.
GREG HUDGINS - Director of Photography
An Emmy®-winning graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Film School, Greg Hudgins is a director of photography whose love of film and visual storytelling inspires his lighting and camera movement. He believes that making a film is collaborative, and he works with his director and crew to create visuals that support the story rather than overshadow it. Greg’s passion for photography also contributes to his sensibilities as a cinematographer, honing his eye for his craft.