Destry Spielberg’s Feature Debut Pays Its Debts to New Mexico Crew

The producer of Destry Allyn Spielberg’s feature film debut said Thursday that the production has paid its debts to its vendors in New Mexico.

The film, “Please Don’t Feed the Children,” wrapped production last fall, but still owed about $200,000 to various rental houses. The vendors were told several times over the last five months that they would be paid shortly, but those promises went unfulfilled.

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In a statement on Thursday, producer Jason Dubin announced that the production had received an investment from Kim and Atty Cleworth, which will allow for completion of the film.

“As of today, every single New Mexico vendor that worked on ‘Please Don’t Feed The Children’ has been issued payment,” Dubin said. “We deeply regret the delay in getting these funds to the incredible artisans of Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico who gave their time and talent to this production.”

One of the vendors confirmed to Variety that payment had been received this week. The vendor was in touch with others who were also owed money on the project, and who reported they too had received their payment.

Spielberg, who is the daughter of Steven Spielberg, is making her feature directorial debut with the low-budget film. Dubin said the project spent about $4.4 million in New Mexico, and will be eligible for the state’s tax incentive program.

Kim Cleworth is the daughter of the late Barry Ackerley, a Seattle media entrepreneur who once owned the Seattle SuperSonics. Cleworth founded Fieldhouse Productions in 2018, which produced “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Sick,” a documentary inspired by her daughter Atty’s fight with Lyme disease.

“Please Don’t Feed the Children” is a post-apocalyptic thriller starring Giancarlo Esposito and Michelle Dockery. The production has been beset by financing problems, and had to temporarily shut down just before filming was to commence last year.

“Like all independent films, this one’s been rocky with financing,” Josh Kesselman, the younger Spielberg’s manager, told Variety last week. “It’s been an up-and-down roller coaster.”

The producers hope to debut it at the Toronto International Film Festival. Spielberg previously directed two short films.

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