Matthews producing films

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LOS ANGELES --- Dave Matthews has acted in a few films, but the Grammy-winning musician has been playing a behind-the-scenes role in Hollywood of late -- that of film producer.

The singer co-founded ATO Pictures and has served mostly as a silent partner. But in the company's latest film, Choke , he was adamant that ATO do more than help finance the film.

"I felt very strongly about us being connected to the project. ... I loved the script," Mr. Matthews said in a phone interview Friday.

Choke , released Friday by Fox Searchlight Pictures, is an adaptation of a novel from Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk.

The film, which stars Sam Rockwell, is about a sex addict named Victor Mancini who likes to pretend he's choking in restaurants to garner strangers' sympathy, then fleece them. When he isn't doing that, hooking up with fellow sex addicts or working at a historical theme park, he's trying to cajole the truth of his paternity from his mentally ill mother.

"What Chuck manages to do is make an unusual story not unusual, and I think the film makes that (as well)," Mr. Matthews said. "There's a very sweet story at the core of it: This young man's struggle to find out who he is."

Last year, ATO produced Joshua, a film about a musical child whose family life changes once his sister is born. Mr. Matthews wrote a song for that film.

For Choke , Mr. Matthews worked on planning and supporting the movie.

"My involvement was much more in discussing how to get the film done ... (being) really more of a cheerleader," he said.


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