Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 12:19 PM: This is the time of a big movie festival when IFC starts taking off the table the titles that didn’t turn into big theatrical release auctions. The company made a big play Tuesday for the Neil Jordan-directed vampire tale Byzantium, and now the distributor is this close to closing a deal on the Noah Baumbach-directed black-and-white film Frances Ha. We’ll post when it’s final.

EARLIER: 11:19 AM:

TORONTO, CANADA (September 13, 2012) – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to director Mira Nair’s THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST starring Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Riz Ahmed in the title roles.

Based on the best-selling novel of the same title by Mohsin Hamid, THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST tells the story of a young Pakistani man (Ahmed) whose pursuit of corporate success on Wall Street leads him on a strange path back to the world he had left behind. Toronto festival programmers wrote: “a boldly dramatic adaptation of a remarkable, timely novel, Mira Nair’s THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST promises to be one of the most talked about films of the year. Mixing romance and tragedy with the classic arc of ambition thwarted, Nair brings Mohsin Hamid’s award-winning 2007 book to the screen with both passion and insight. She also delivers a cracking thriller.”

The Reluctant Fundamentalist made itsworld premiere at Opening Night of the Venice Film Festival before its NorthAmerican premiere in Toronto. It was adapted by Bill Wheeler, with the Screen Story by Mohsin Hamid and Ami Boghani. Produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher under her Cine Mosaic banner, this is the latest Doha Film Institute financed film and is a Mirabai Films and Cine Mosaic production.

The rich visual style is supported by the cinematography of Declan Quinn, productiondesigner Michael Carlin, Costume Designer Arjun Bhasin and Editor Shimit Amin. The music includes the eclectic world of Pakistani funk, a fusion score by iconoclastic Michael Andrews and a stunning new original song composed by Peter Gabriel.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST is the rare intelligent thriller that grapples with the issues of our times while remaining incredibly entertaining. It features a terrific cast including Liev Schrieber, Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland and a star-making performance by Riz Ahmed. It is particularly thrilling to be reunited with the wonderful Mira Nair. “

Paul Miller, Head of Film Financing at DFI commented: “ We are proud to have supported Mira’s latest work that has been so warmly received by audiences in Venice and Toronto. The film’s unique mix of commercial thriller and cross-cultural themes of identity and understandingwill help it connect with global audiences. We are pleased to have found itsNorth American home with IFC.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films and Hal Sadoff for DFI and Bart Walker of Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers. It reunites IFC films with Nair, whose hit film MONSOON WEDDING was financed by the company.

Nair was born in Bhubaneswar, Orissa,India. Her feature films include SALAAM BOMBAY!, which won the Golden Camera and the Audience Award at Cannes. Her recent feature films include MONSOON WEDDING, VANITY FAIR, and THE NAMESAKE.

IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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