James Velissaris

Finch Fortress Films Founder James Velissaris Will Be an Associate Producer on the Upcoming Independent Picture “The Dropout”

James Velissaris of Finch Fortress Films Will Serve as an Associate Producer for the Upcoming Independent Feature.

Ex Files Productions, the company making the upcoming independent film “The Dropout,” has announced James Velissaris, CEO and founder of Finch Fortress Films, will be joining the production as an associate producer.

In the words of Ex Files, “The Dropout” is “an R-rated, sex-positive comedy influenced by famous 1967 film ‘The Graduate,’ but told from the perspective of a protagonist inspired by The Graduate’s character Mrs. Robinson [whom musicians Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel named their classic number-one hit song after on the film’s bestselling soundtrack].”

“The Dropout” Is Velissaris’ Fourth Feature Film Production

Executive James Velissaris who is eager for production to commence, has three other feature credits. This year, he’s serving as the associate producer for teen rom-com “Escaping Ohio,” as the executive producer for sci-fi pic “The Fearway” — both films are currently in production — and is the executive producer of comedy/horror film “Forever Home,” which is now in the post-production stage.

Velissaris released this public statement, addressing Ex Files:

“I’m excited to help support your vision for this project. I loved ‘The Graduate,’ but always believed that Mrs. Robinson’s character was left unexplored, despite being the most interesting character in the movie. I also felt that Elaine [Robinson]’s character fulfilled stereotypical gender roles for the entire movie until the end, and even in the end is only able to assert her strength with the aid of a man. I’m very excited for you to revisit this story from a female perspective, given the complexity and nuance of these characters.”

The Focus of Finch Fortress

In early 2020, James Velissaris established Finch Fortress Films in Atlanta to help visionary storytellers and film artists create projects challenging conventional norms and provoking strong emotions. Velissaris states, “I felt [the film industry] portrayals across race, gender and sexual orientation can be, at times, stereotypical representations that don’t allow a diverse set of viewers to see themselves in film. One of [Finch Fortess’] core missions is to help produce films and television shows that challenge these conventional portrayals.”

With a business background, Velissaris comes to the film industry with an entrepreneurial sensibility and strong fiscal acumen. The producer hails from Chicago and has degrees in finance from Columbia University and economics from Harvard University. In his adolescence, he was a star athlete, excelling at football.

James Velissaris is looking forward to “The Dropout” commencing production now that the film has been fully funded. Co-writer Tyrell Shaffner is set to direct, while co-writer Meryl Branch-McTiernan is producing, and Marginal MediaWorks film chief Milan Chakraborty is serving as the feature’s executive producer.