Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Even as attention turns to the next slate of films on the horizon at the Toronto International Film Festival, the coming weekend’s theatrical debuts are beyond plentiful. Magnolia Pictures bows Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, starring Rosemarie DeWitt who starred in Shelton’s previous effort. The weekend also boasts two films with very different stories that center on older woman/ younger man sexual relationships in Adore by Anne Fontaine and Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher. The Weinstein Company is releasing two films, including doc Salinger (which played Telluride and is at TIFF) and French comedy Populaire by Régis Roinsard. Newcomer Active Fox Productions also has a duo with family pic Tio Papi and thriller 36 Saints. And Participant’s 99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film join the weekend’s documentary titles along with FilmBuff’s Red Obsession. And crime-thriller Mission Park joins the fray after screening a number of Latino film festivals earlier this year.
Director-writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais, Scoot McNairy
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Writer-director Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely came out of the filmmaker’s work with Rosemarie DeWitt in Shelton’s previous film Your Sister’s Sister. The drama, which also stars Ellen Page and Josh Pais centers on a massage therapist who is unable to do her job when stricken with a sudden aversion to bodily contact. At the same time, her uptight brother’s unsuccessful dentist practice finds a renaissance when clients seek out his healing touch. “[Shelton] often develops stories working with actors,” said producer Steven Schardt who has worked with Shelton on a number of projects. “We had been talking to [DeWitt] for sometime.” Production had to move forward a month due to DeWitt’s schedule, which meant kicking the production into gear. It was also one of the “biggest” projects Shelton and Schardt had undertaken, though they still worked with a core of crew from previous shoots. “It was one of the longest shoots by far that we’ve done,” added Schardt. “It was 20 days as opposed to 12 days for Your Sister’s Sister.” They also worked with investors who helped fund Your Sister’s Sister.