Paper Street Films and Back Lot Pictures announced today Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage will star in the contemporary political drama, The Runner. The film marks producer Austin Stark's writing and directing debut. Over the past few years, Stark has produced and executive produced several successful independent films including this year's Sundance hit Infinitely Polar Bear starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana and the Sundance 2010 Audience Award winner Happythankyoumoreplease, starring Josh Radnor and Kate Mara. The Runner will be produced by Benji Kohn, Bingo Gubelmann and Chris Papavasiliou for Paper Street Films and Glenn Williamson for Back Lot Pictures and executive produced by Ruth Mutch, Noah Millman, Sam Bisbee, Tom Conigliaro and Erika Hampson. Production is set for New Orleans on June 23, 2014.

In the aftermath of the tragic 2010 BP oil spill, Colin Price (Nicolas Cage), an idealistic but flawed New Orleans congressman, is forced to confront his dysfunctional life after his career is destroyed in a sex scandal.

Writer / Director Austin Stark had this to say in a statement.

"For my first film as a director, I'm honored to be working alongside one of the finest living actors, Nicolas Cage. The Runner, a contemporary political drama, is new and exciting territory for Mr. Cage. I have no doubt he's going to deliver a powerful and poignant performance, as relevant as the film itself."

Nicolas Cage, most recently seen in Joe, is represented by CAA, Mike Nilon at KLWGN, and Jake Bloom and Patrick Knapp at Bloom Hergott.

Austin Stark is a partner at Paper Street Films, a New York City film production and finance company.