Courtesy photo

Scarborough native James Sunshine recently secured distribution with Lionsgate Films and Indican Pictures for his feature directorial debut “Coronavirus Conspiracy” on Sept. 21, according to a statement by Sunshine.

Written and shot in secret during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the surreal and absurdist comedy showcases acting veterans John Lehr (“10 Items or Less”, the original Geico Caveman) and Joseph Reitman (“Jay and Silent Bob”; “The Perfect Storm”), and uses the world’s craziest current events as a backdrop for some scathing satire.

In this R-rated film, when a retired zookeeper (Lehr) is kidnapped by a crazed economist (Reitman) during the COVID-19 lockdown, he learns that every recent worldwide disaster is connected, and he works to discover who is at fault.

“Our distribution deal with Lionsgate is huge. You don’t see many success stories out of Maine like this,” said Sunshine, who now resides in Los Angeles.

Sunshine graduated from Scarborough High School in 2010, where he was commonly known as a budding filmmaker even then.

Some of his other credits in Hollywood include producing some of the biggest reality shows of all time, including “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” on FOX, “Big Brother” on CBS, and the Emmy Award-winning “Project Runway” on Lifetime.

“Coronavirus Conspiracy” also features Sunshine, Lehr, Reitman, and Larry Layfield as producers, and stars Kimberley Crossman (“Power Rangers Samurai”; “SMILF”) in a supporting role.

The movie will have a limited theatrical release and DVD distribution by Indican Pictures on Sept. 21. Lionsgate Films will handle a Digital HD release on Apple TV, DirecTV, Google Play, Prime Video, FandangoNOW and more, all on Sept. 21.

For more information, go to the film site to watch a trailer for the movie, got to

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