First Look: Where Sweet Dreams Die

Los Angeles, California – ‘That’s a wrap, folks!’ Ave Fenix Pictures Studios has announced the completion of Where Sweet Dream Die, the first mainstream film by the Chicago film studio known for its rise in arthouse cinema.

Above is the first image of Emmanuel Isaac with his refugee family from the upcoming Mirza Esho film. The story is a modern-day social commentary piece reminiscing on inspirations of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) and American History X (1998).

Isaac, best known for his successful indie films, plays Ashton Nassar, a Syrian refugee who wants more out of life than just being a taxi driver. Ashton’s shady mentor Ivan (international European actor Marius Iliescu), a Ukrainian Social Club owner has motivated him, mentoring the American dream is just around the corner if you know how to play the game. Ashton, being secured by Ivan’s loan, is only one day away from owning Brunello’s Italian Restaurant, soon to be converted into a Middle Eastern eatery. The owner Luca Brunello tries everything in his power to save his family’s restaurant, but ultimately comes up short. 

Zachary Laoutides, in addition to the screenwriter stars as Luca Brunello, holding onto an Italian Ristorante that has been his family’s establishment since 1933. Luca, a third generation Italian American has inherited his family’s legacy, tradition and landmark, but his gambling addiction with the pressures of his wife’s sickness has slowly loosened his grip on his family’s inheritance. Not taking responsibility for his own failings, Luca starts to believe that liberals, changing demographics and immigration has led to society’s decay and his current circumstance. With all hope lost Luca decides to take the biggest gamble of his life, taking his situation into his own hands by any means necessary. That is where craziness starts and sweet dreams die.

With the ongoing conversations of diversity in film, one couldn’t ask more from the production, as a strong team of women headed by executive producer Monica Emeralda Leon, that brings a fusion of cultures, crew, design and the debut of Assyrian director Mirza Esho; range is at the film’s core.

Speaking of range, the casting of Isaac and Laoutides has been the subject of intense interest, both of whom have created a performance buzz on set, together starting their careers in Chicago making names through arthouse cinema, “This is a story of similarities and differences between desperate people under the current state of the nation. The performances turned into something beyond the script and my imagination; the character depth is just chilling and brutally honest,” Esho explained.

In January, the film wrapped shooting in New York and Chicago. A release date has not yet been announced.

For more information about Where Sweet Dreams Die, visit

SOURCE The Hollywood Reporter

Brooke JaffeHead of Public Affairs and Communications, Penske Media

Steven Huizar (Los Angeles) Manager of Communications, Penske Media

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Company Name: Ave Fenix Pictures Studios
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