Press Release

Press Release


July 26, 2013

Southwest Minnesota State professor and noir crime author, Anthony Neil Smith, signs first movie deal

MINNEAPOLIS – Southwest Minnesota State University dean, Anthony Neil Smith, will have a new credit to add to his resume. This week Smith signed a deal with Minnesota production companies Killing Joke Films and Pounding Heart MultiMedia to turn one his popular novels into a film. A noir crime author, Smith is the author of seven novels, including the Billy Lafitte series–YELLOW MEDICINE, HOGDOGGIN’, and THE BADDEST ASS–and ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS, named by Spinetingler Magazine as Best Novel of 2012 in their “Rising Star” category. Hogdoggin will be his first book to be turned into a movie.

The follow-up to 2008’s YELLOW MEDICINE, HOGDOGGIN’ continues to follow the trail of rogue, ex-cop Billy Lafitte, as he returns home to Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. Dodging a revenge plan hatched by the FBI special agent he once assaulted, Lafitte’s brutal adventures are best exemplified by the blood sport that provides the title, which matches vicious dogs like rottweilers against helpless pigs. In the words of Booklist’s Elliott Swanson: “Smith’s version of Minnesota is no Lake Wobegon; the inhabitants are refreshingly made up entirely of the deranged, the damaged, and the doomed.”

A native of Mississippi, Smith is now chairman of the English Department at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. “I’m thrilled to let Minnesota’s best film teams take a chance on adapting this, the novel I was working on when I finally fell in love with Minnesota. Keeping it close to home is the right decision, and Pounding Heart MultiMedia and Killing Joke Films are the right people to do it.”

Killing Joke Films’ owner, writer and director Paul von Stoetzel, is known for his unflinching storytelling, winning numerous awards for his hit documentary, SNUFF: A Documentary About Killing On Camera. Von Stoetzel first met Smith online after being introduced to the crime writer’s community by noir author Dennis Tafoya. After reading Smith’s book, Yellow Medicine, von Stoezel became very interested in Smith’s work.

Killing Joke Films signed a deal earlier this year with Pounding Heart MultiMedia to produce and distribute its films, including its first feature film, A Method, due for release this fall.

“I am extremely excited about pairing one of Minnesota’s best noir crime authors with one of the most fearless directors Minnesota has ever produced,” said Pounding Heart’s Executive Producer/Owner Bridget Cronin Sutton. “This will be a great movie that people will want to watch.”

Hogdoggin is slated for release early in 2015.