SMALL APARTMENTS Ebook Now Available for Kindle and Nook!

Hooray! On the same day the SXSW Film Festival begins, the Small Apartments ebook becomes available for purchase on kindle and nook. Please buy your copy today to support the dream of weird, dark comic fiction writers turned screenwriter/producers everywhere!

Small Apartments SXSW Film Preview in the Austinist

By Matt Shiverdecker in

Swedish director Jonas Akerlund is probably still best known for his iconic 90's music videos like Madonna's "Ray Of Light" and The Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up." Over the years, he's brought his unique visual style to the big screen with cult favorite Spun and 2009's little-seen Horsemen.

His latest film, Small Apartments, is making its World Premiere at SXSW this year and it stars Matt Lucas (from the hit UK comedy series Little Britain) along with a bizarrely fantastic cast of characters that includes Peter Stomare (Fargo), Dolph Lundgren, and Billy Crystal. There isn't even a trailer online for this one yet, but it's high on our list of must-see films at the festival.

You'll have four chances to catch it at SXSW, including Saturday, March 10 at the Alamo South Lamar and Saturday, March 17 at the Alamo Ritz. Visit here.

"Small Apartments" director Jonas Akerlund interviewed for SHOOTONLINE

Spotmakers Set To Debut Films At SXSW Festival

AUSTIN, Texas, February 17, 2012, Robert Goldrich --- Over the past year, director Jonas Akerlund balanced a workload of close to 30 commercials, five music videos and a feature film, Small Apartments. The latter—with a cast that includes Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple and James Marsden—makes its world premiere at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival slated for March 9-17 in Austin.

Akerlund is one of several helmers with spotmaking ties (he is repped by Serial Pictures) to have a feature-length film at SXSW this year. Small Apartments is a dark comedy in which a man accidently kills his landlord, kicking off a wild journey that meshes both humor and more serious considerations. "The movie is really about hope and not giving up, opening up your mind to deal with changes in life," related Akerlund. "The film starts out like a traditional comedy with strong characters and funny moments. Yet as the story unfolds, it becomes more serious, offering a bit of a message and an emotional aspect."

Akerlund first came across Small Apartments 10-plus years ago. "I always loved the book. This is one of those passion projects that I've been hoping I could get made into a movie one day." One of the stumbling blocks for Akerlund was finding "someone special" to play the main character, Franklin Franklin. "The question for me was always, 'who is the guy brave enough in Hollywood to become Franklin?' A few years ago I cast my eyes on Matt Lucas, an English actor, mostly known for the U.K. TV series Little Britain. I liked what I saw and promised myself that if he wants to do Small Apartments, I would somehow get this film made. I sent him the book and the script, and got an instant response from him that he wanted to do the movie."

It took another year or two to get the film going. Favors had to be called in so as to make production viable within a limited budget. "We decided to shoot in Los Angeles, which might seem odd to some in that it can be more expensive to produce here. But it was a good decision because this is a character-driven film and we needed a strong cast," noted Akerlund. "We aimed high on the cast and when you're asking actors to do you a favor and work for less, you've got a much better chance if all they have to do is roll down the hill and shoot in L.A. rather than them having to fly to Canada, Prague or somewhere else."

This will mark Akerlund's first time attending SXSW. "I'm not much of a film festival guy," he related. "Yet I've heard about South By Southwest the past two or three years, even got some phone calls from friends who were there and told me I would enjoy the experience. From what I've heard, it seems that it's becoming what Sundance used to be, which sounds like it could be a good place for a weird movie like mine."

Akerlund said that another "good place" for him is the spotmaking arena. "It's what I do the most of and without my experience in advertising, there's no way I could have done movies and documentaries. Commercials have helped me in collaboration, creatively and on the practical side."

"Small Apartments" co-star named among Best L.A. Stage Performances of 2011

Scott Sheldon, who plays the hilarious Officer Smith in the upcoming feature, "Small Apartments," which will debut March 10 at the South by Southwest Film Festival, has been named by "Stage and Cinema" as one of the best stage performances of 2011 for his role as Moony in the Tennessee Williams play, "Moony's Kid Don't Cry," staged by The New American Theatre in Los Angeles.

In "Stage and Cinema," Harvey Perr writes, "(Tennessee) Williams, of course, loved actors, and wrote some of the greatest parts in the history of the American theater; actors have so much fun playing them, and that particular joy was expressed in Five Beauties. But of the five one-acts, it was in Williams’ early and uncharacteristic “Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry” (one of the five) that Scott Sheldon exploded into one’s consciousness by transforming himself into the hapless Moony."

And in an earlier review, The Los Angeles Times hailed Sheldon's performance as, "bravura."

Read the the "Stage and Cinema article here, and the Los Angeles Times article here. Link to the play here. Unfortunately, the play has closed its run. So, look for Sheldon when "Small Apartments" hits theaters.

World Premiere and Screening Dates Announced for "Small Apartments" at South by Southwest 2012

The World Premiere of the dark, indie comedy "Small Apartments," directed by Jonas Akerlund with screenplay by Chris Millis and starring Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Caan, Dolph Lundgren, James Marsden, Rosie Perez, Peter Stormare and many more is scheduled for Saturday, March 10 at the South by Southwest Film Festival in the Narrative Spotlight Section at 9:15 PM in the Alamo Lamar A Theater, 1120 South Lamar Blvd, Austin TX. There will be FOUR screenings throughout the festival between March 10 and March 17. Full schedule here.

Featured in Liz Smith's Column...

The below item ran in Liz Smith's Feb. 7 column. The column is featured on and syndicated in newspapers throughout the country.

SPOTTED AT NYC’s The London hotel: comics Tom Green, Rob Schneider (and Rob’s wife Patricia), and screenwriter Chris Millis. Rob was making the talk show rounds, pumping up his new CBS sitcom, “Rob,” which is doing very well after only four episodes. (These days, if a sitcom doesn’t explode after one week, it can disappear!)

By the time the Schneiders joined Green and Millis at the hotel, the kitchen had closed. But never underestimate the power of celebrity “handlers.” After some smooth talking, the staff at The London managed to keep the guys and the rest of the party in a good mood, well nourished and with no lack of libation. Nothing like a hit TV series to get a stove working again.

The full column can be seen here:

The Playlist Names “Small Apartments” One Of Most Anticipated Indie Films Of 2012


"Small Apartments"

Synopsis: An overweight man, Franklin Franklin, lives in an apartment complex and dreams of Switzerland, but finds his neighbors leaking into his life.

What You Need To Know: On the "randomly assembled cast" meter, only one film in 2012 is able to compete with "Battleship" -- "Small Apartments." The latest film from music video veteran Jonas Akerlund, it features among its ensemble James Caan, Billy Crystal, Johnny Knoxville, Rosie Perez and Dolph Lundgren. Based on Canadian (huh? Canadian?) writer Chris Millis' award-winning novel, British comedian Matt Lucas ("Bridesmaids," "Alice in Wonderland") toplines this quirky dark comedy, compared by some to "A Confederacy of Dunces," with Juno Temple, Amanda Plummer, Saffron Burrows, DJ Qualls, Rebel Wilson, Peter Stormare and David Koechner also along for the ride. Akerlund's hyperactive style did no favors to his near-unwatchable "Spun" or "Horsemen," but this seems like enough of an oddity that we're intrigued to see more. Also intriguing to note, ex-Roxette frontman Per Gessle is scoring the film (actually, Roxette is still touring and selling out stadiums).

When? Slated for Sundance, but absent from the line-up, we're sure it'll do the festival route later in the year. (“Small Apartments” will premiere in March 2012 at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin). Read full article here.

"Small Apartments" World Premiere at SXSW Film Festival in March

From The Hollywood Reporter (1/12/12)...

Small Apartments (World Premiere)

Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Writer: Chris Millis

When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Dolph Lundgren, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez, DJ Qualls. Full article here.

Host Billy Crystal in upcoming movie by writer Chris Millis

SARATOGA SPRINGS — An upcoming independent film written by Chris Millis of Saratoga Springs is getting a big, unanticipated boost: Playing a supporting role is Billy Crystal, who will be hosting the Oscars — just two weeks before the movie’s debut.

And Millis was also name-dropped in the New York Times.

“If you’ve been waiting to see Billy Crystal, last a movie lead nine years ago in ‘Analyze That,’ back on the big screen, wait no more,” wrote Michael Cieply in an item in Friday’s New York Times. “Directed by Jonas Akerlund, ‘Small Apartments’ is a comedy, based on a script and novel by Chris Millis, about a deadbeat who kills his landlord.”

“It’s awesome,” Millis said Saturday from Los Angeles about making the movie.

“I was on the set every day and worked very closely with Akerlund. He’s kind of a rocker dude. I love him,” he said.

Millis, a 1990 Saratoga Springs High School graduate, lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife, Lisa, and their twin boys, who will turn 5 this month.

During frequent trips to L.A., he stays with fellow Class of 1990 grad Scott Sheldon, who Millis said plays a police officer in “Small Apartments” and will also be a police officer this Thursday in the TV show “Private Practice” at 10 p.m. Thursday on ABC.

The novel “Small Apartments” was originally published in 2001 by Anvil Press. His first novel, it won the 23rd Annual International Three-Day Novel Contest.

Millis is now putting the finishing touches on the ebook, among other things.

“I have a bunch of open projects right now,” he said. “I am doing a film with Mark Piznarski, the director of the CW TV show ‘Gossip Girl.’ ”

“Small Apartments” will screen for the first time in mid-March at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, just two or three weeks after the Feb. 26 Oscars.

Millis adapted the screenplay and is executive producer.

In the movie, in addition to Crystal, are Matt Lucas, Johnny Knoxville, James Caan, Dolph Lundgren, Juno Temple, Peter Stormare, James Marsden, Amanda Plummer, Saffron Burrows, David Koechner, David Warshofsky, Rebel Wilson and Rosie Perez, according to Millis’ blog.

How the movie will be distributed after the festival has yet to be determined.

“I’d really love to do something big in Saratoga,” Millis said.

New Jonas Åkerlund film "Small Apartments" to feature soundtrack by Per Gessle

As Per Gessle revealed today on Facebook, the songs he's recently written and recorded for a "soundtrack" are for Jonas Åkerlund's new movie "Small Apartments." Read the message by the man himself:

Yes Box Alright! I've done the soundtrack, based on the Son of a Plumber vibe, for Jonas Åkerlund's new movie "Small Apartments". The music has been recorded at the AGM Studio and as expected the mighty Mr Lundquist & Mr Ofwerman have been the cornerstones. The film? Well, it's a "dark comedy" (based on the S.A. novel) starring Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan and Peter Stormare in the leading parts. And yes, it's a wonderful movie. And yes, there will be a soundtrack. And yes, we have to release it on vinyl as well. I'm really proud to be part of this. Cheers, P. (P.S. Jonas is God.)

The novel this movie is based upon was written by American writer Chris Millis in 2001. He has adapted the screenplay and is the executive producer of the movie. Here's the blurb for the book:

Small Apartments is the offbeat tale of an obese, slovenly peeping tom, his odd brother, his pothead neighbour, and their quest to hide the body of an unfortunate landlord. The story is accented along the way by murder, strange fingernail collections and the occasional blast from a treasured alphorn.

Behind-the-scenes photos of the shooting of the movie are available on Chris Millis' website and the complete cast is available on the Internet Movie Database.

Another soundtrack Per Gessle has contributed to in the past was that for the 2008 movie "Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In)". In this movie, you can hear parts of the still officially unreleased song "Kvar i min bil (Left in My Car)".

Billy Crystal Returns to Big Screen at South by Southwest


LOS ANGELES— If you’ve been waiting to see Billy Crystal, last a movie lead nine years ago in “Analyze That,” back on the big screen, wait no more.

Billy CrystalJason Redmond/European Pressphoto AgencyBilly Crystal

Mr. Crystal, this year’s Oscar host, will appear in a supporting role in “Small Apartments,” an indie film that will screen at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tx., during a film program that runs from March 9 through March 17, the festival announced on Thursday. Directed by Jonas Åkerlund, “Small Apartments” is a comedy, based on a script and novel by Chris Millis, about a deadbeat who kills his landlord. Click here for New York Times article.