Katie Holmes, best known for her stellar turns and supporting roles in “Batman Begins” and “The Miracle Boys,” has spent more time behind the camera in recent years. In 2016, Holmes made her directorial debut with the mother-daughter drama All We Had, and during the pandemic she directed two films, Alone Together and Rare Objects. The former film, a love story that unfolds during the blockade, recently had its world premiere at Tribeca.
“I’m trying to make feature films that are relevant to today’s world and talk about something deep in all of us,” Holmes said on the eve of the premiere of “Alone Together’s.”
While looking for more opportunities to put his artistic mark on projects, Holmes teamed up with a team of indie film vets, Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman and Jesse Corman of Yale Entertainment, who produced Mayim Bialik-like “As They Made Us” and the upcoming thriller by Antonio Banderas-Jaime King “Code name Banshee. Together they have formed Pictures of Lafayette, a production label dedicated to everything Holmes. In addition to supporting Rare Objects, shot this fall, the company is developing The Watergate Girl, a memoir by former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, which Holmes says blends into a historical drama with a deeply personal history. Rare Objects is the story of a young woman who rebuilds her life while working in an antique shop.
“Katie is not just a talented actress, she is a real director who designs wardrobe and production and even understands the financial implications and what it takes to make a film successful,” says Yale Levine. “As soon as we finished Alone Together, we realized we wanted to do more together.”
For Beckerman, working with Holmes comes from the desire to find people who have vision and a voice and who want to tell good stories. We want to give Katie a chance to do her best.
Holmes and the producers say there is no mandate for the production and note that budgets can range from a few million dollars to 10 million dollars in the north. “We look at investor-focused budgets, so they vary,” Beckerman said.
The same goes for the number of films made under the Lafayette flag. “We want to do as much as we can without imposing anything,” said Yale Levine.
In addition to developing the two announced projects, Lafayette is working on another television field, and Holmes is writing a screenplay with his friend Alan Cumming. For Holmes, working with Yale Levine, Beckermann, and Corman (who oversee many of the elements of physical production) allowed her to create and maintain a professional support system, one that is often lacking in transition industries such as film production.
“I’ve been in this business for a long time and I always love the people I work with, and then a movie ends and it’s like you can’t see them for 10 years,” says Holmes. “This situation means we can keep the family together.”
As for the name of the company, it is not intended to pay tribute to the French general who provided vital assistance to the United States during the War of Independence. Rather, it is a slope to an important road in Lower Manhattan.
“We are people from the center,” says Holmes.