'Cosmic Dawn' Co-Produced by Joseph Raso '04 and Mark Raso '12 Acquired for North American Distribution

Nicole Saldarriaga
July 16, 2021

Cosmic Dawn, a film starring Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) and Camille Rowe (The Deep House) and co-produced by Film alumni Joseph Raso '04 and Mark Raso '12, has been acquired by levelFILM and Cranked Up (an arm of Good Deed Entertainment) for North American distribution. 

The film, which was written and directed by Jefferson Moneo, follows a woman who witnessed the alien abduction of her mother. In an attempt to understand her experience and connect with others who believe her story, she is drawn to The Cosmic Dawn, a UFO cult. 

According to CEO and founder of Good Deed Scott Donley, "We're pleased to be able to announce the acquisition of Cosmic Dawn and partnership on the North American release with levelFILM. The film has a vibrant young cast, is visually stunning, and we know that audiences will love it!" 

Cosmic Dawn will be released in 2022 after a festival run. 

Born in Toronto, Joseph Raso is a graduate of McGill University, and attended film school in New York at Columbia University. He is the writer and director of several award winning shorts. Often writing with David Light (they first teamed up in the MFA program at Columbia) the duo have received numerous industry awards and grants for their written work and short films. Light & Raso created, wrote and sold numerous comedy pilots to such networks as NBC, SONY, ABC Family, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel. Raso, a Canadian, has various projects in development in Canada with Rogers/City-TV and CBC. They sold a story idea to Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm (the handicapped stall etiquette episode), and one of their features, Baby Ivies, about the blood sport of getting kids into an elite kindergarten, was co-optioned by State Street and Spitfire Pictures. Joseph Raso also worked as a writer on the hit animated series Yu-gi-oh.

Mark Raso has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2012 Student Academy Award (Oscar®) Gold Medal for his thesis film Under, made while attending Columbia University. In 2014 he debuted his first feature film Copenhagen, which went on to win numerous awards on the festival circuit including the Audience Award at Slamdance. His follow up film Kodachrome (2017), starring Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen was met with critical success and was acquired by Netflix after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. His latest film is the Netflix original grounded sci-fi thriller Awake (2021) starring Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barry Pepper, Finn Jones and Ariana Greenblatt.