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Checking in with ''Project Greenlight'''s first winner

Checking in with ”Project Greenlight”’s first winner — After surviving his experience on HBO’s making-of-the-movie docuseries, Pete Jones is now working on an indie comedy

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Matt Damon, Pete Jones, ...
Project Greenlight 2002: Greg Gorman

There is life after ”Project Greenlight,” and ”Stolen Summer” writer-director Pete Jones is living proof. Actually, he’s filming proof: The harried auteur of the HBO talent search’s first season is hard at work on an $800,000 indie comedy called ”Doubting Riley,” about a straight-acting gay Chicagoan whose dubious sibs won’t believe that he bats for the other team. ”I hope it’s a comedy,” Jones says meekly. Aiming for an Oct. 3 Sundance submission deadline, he’ll begin shooting Aug. 18 with a cast of Windy City locals — except for two name actors he’s wooing for the lead roles (and declines to identify). Jones turned down some attractive offers for behind-the-scenes coverage of ”Riley.” ”I loved my ‘Greenlight’ experience, but this time I’d like to make a film without anybody watching. I imagine that doesn’t seem too crazy.”