Born: January 01, 1972
Date of Birth: 1972
Raised in York, Maine, Kyle Rankin co-founded the independent film company, Newborn Pictures, with Efram Potelle in Portland, Maine. The two met when they were contestants at the Maine Student Film and Video Festival and began collaborating soon afterward. In 1996, Potelle co-wrote a full-length film called Reindeer Games. He also produced, edited, acted in and did the makeup for the film, while Rankin did the casting and also played a role. The director and co-writer on Reindeer Games was Shayne Worcester, who was later shot to death in San Francisco in 1999 at age 30 during a robbery.
Newborn Pictures' next film was a 30-minute short called Pennyweight (1999), written by Rankin and co-directed by Rankin and Potelle. They convinced veteran Hollywood actor Ray Wise of Twin Peaks fame to fly to Maine and donate his time to appear in the film, which won the Best of Festival Award at the Nashville Independent Film Festival as well as the Jury Award at the Atlanta Film Festival. Their next film was a seven-minute short called They Came to Attack Us (2001), which won the Audience Award at the Slamdance International Film Festival.
In 2002, Potelle and Rankin left Maine for Los Angeles, and shortly after, they won Project Greenlight's directors contest at the Sundance Film Festival. Designed to help aspiring filmmakers, Project Greenlight is backed by entertainment big leaguers such as Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Miramax, Blockbuster Video and HBO. As winners, Rankin and Potelle were chosen to direct The Battle of Shaker Heights, a feature film written by Erica Beeny of Cleveland, who won the screenplay portion of the contest.
Made on a budget of $1.7 million, the coming-of-age story about a high school student who takes part in World War II battle re-enactments stars hot up-and-coming young actor Shia LaBeouf.
The Battle of Shaker Heights (2003)