EXCLUSIVE: Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls, Christmas at Castle Heart) and Ektor Rivera (Sugar Plum Twist) are set to lead the Hallmark film Groundswell. The project is set to premiere on the network later this year.

Groundswell is an adaptation of Katie Lee Biegel’s debut novel of the same name. Beigel serves as executive producer on the project and will make a cameo appearance.

In the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries project, on the heels of a personal and professional setback, Atlanta chef Emma (Chabert) travels to Hawaii where she meets Ben (Rivera), a handsome, reclusive surf instructor whose lessons help her to regain her footing.

“I am a huge fan of Lacey’s movies, and she has been my dream choice to play Emma, from day one,” said Biegel in an exclusive statement to Deadline. “This project is close to my heart and there is no one better to bring us along on Emma’s journey.”

Groundswell—from Crown Media Productions LLC— is executive produced by Cameron Johann. Ric Galindez and Roy Tjioe are producers. Lee Friedlander is directing from a script by Carlie Mantilla & John Eliot Jordan.

Chabert signed a multi-picture deal with Crown Media Family Networks in February under which she will headline and executive produce movies and develop other content for Hallmark Channel and other Hallmark platforms over the next two years.

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