Sundance prize winner Cooper Raiff (Cha Cha Real Smooth) has partnered with former Black Bear Pictures development executive Clementine Quittner to launch Small Ideas—a new production company that will develop and produce indie projects across film and television.
Raiff hinted at the move, and even cited the name of his new shingle in a recent chat with Deadline, which had him discussing the viability of small, carefully crafted projects in the ever-evolving entertainment marketplace.
“I feel really confident about small things. I’m going to start a company and probably call it Small Ideas,” the filmmaker said in the interview published back in June. “There’s a very good, lucrative market for making small things and flipping them, and if you’re okay with them being maybe like a streamer-theatrical duo, I think everyone should be really feeling great and confident about getting their stuff made that they want to make.”
Driven by a commitment to protecting the passion and intention of artists, Raiff and Quittner intend to produce projects from emerging filmmakers and creators, as well as those written and directed by Raiff. Their first effort will be an undisclosed television series which Raiff will write, direct, and produce alongside Quittner.
During his recent chat with Deadline, Raiff may have also offered a hint as to what we can expect from his as-yet-unnamed series. “After I make this next movie [The Trashers], I know for a fact the next thing I’m going to do is make a really, really, really small TV show by myself, because I’m fortunate enough to have enough money to do that,” he said. “My goal is to totally just bet on myself and flip it in the way that I did with Shithouse, and the way I did with Cha Cha.”
Said Raiff today in a statement: “Clem and I are very protective of passion. We want the artists we work with to know we believe in their stories and ideas as much as they do. I know how brutal fighting for people to trust your vision can be, and I know what a difference it makes to not have to fight for it alone. Small Ideas knows just how much love and support a filmmaker needs.”
“I’m super excited for Clem to run the show—she’s going to be the company’s engine,” added the filmmaker. “She elevates everything she works on and it’s a dream to be her creative and professional partner.”
“Cooper is a brilliant filmmaker and my favorite collaborator,” remarked Quittner in closing. “I can’t wait to work together to build a home for artists we love and artists we don’t yet know—people who desire to make things differently.”
Raiff’s most recent feature, Cha Cha Real Smooth, won the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The dramedy about a Bar Mitzvah party starter played by Raiff—also starring Dakota Johnson and more—was released to critical acclaim by Apple in June. Prior to that, the filmmaker directed the indie romance Shithouse, which claimed the SXSW Grand Jury Award in 2020. Up next for him is the crime drama The Trashers, which has Licorice Pizza‘s Cooper Hoffman playing AJ—the teenage son of Connecticut trash magnate and Genovese crime family associate Jimmy Galante (Stranger Things‘ David Harbour), who is tasked with running his minor-league hockey team. Elvis‘ Olivia DeJonge is also set for the pic, going into production this fall.
While at Black Bear, Quittner worked across the company’s slate on such upcoming projects as Nyad, directed by Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi and starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster; The Marsh King’s Daughter, directed by Neil Burger and starring Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn; and the film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Powers’ novel, Bewilderment. She has also overseen development of Exciting Times, Raiff’s series adaptation of Naoise Dolan’s romance novel, in which Bridgerton‘s Phoebe Dynevor is set to star.