Lionsgate label Codeblack Films has picked up North American rights to Frankie & Alice and has set an April 4, 2014 release date. The deal ends a long-in-coming domestic deal for the Halle Berry drama thriller about a woman with multiple personality disorder who struggles to cope with her disease. The pic debuted in the Cannes market in 2010 and played that’s year’s AFI Fest but stalled after that. Stellan Skarsgard, Phylicia Rashad and Chandra Wilson co-star and Geoffrey Sax directed. The pic seems a good fit at Codeblack, which focuses on features for the African American market. It teamed in July with Summit Entertainment and Hartbeat Productions to release the concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, which has grossed $32.4 million to date. Codeblack also just made a deal for rights to the Flyy Girl book trilogy written by New York Times bestselling author Omar Tyree, and has pics in the works including suspense thriller Repentance starring Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie and Sanaa Lathan; romantic drama Things Never Said starring Omari Hardwick and Shanola Hampton; and The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete starring Jennifer Hudson. Codeblack Films GM Quincy Newell negotiated the Frankie & Alice acquisition with David B. Strapko of 37 Star Media Fund Corp and Stephanie Denton of New Cadence Entertainment.
Freestyle has released a trailer for Frankie & Alice, the Geoffrey Sax-directed drama about a woman with a multiple personality disorder that’s said to be Halle Berry’s strongest performance since Monster’s Ball. The film has a qualifying run in LA December 10 and then will be rolled out in February.
EXCLUSIVE: Hoping to duplicate the feat Jeff Bridges pulled off last year when he became a surprise last minute entry into the Oscar race — and winner — with Crazy Heart, Halle Berry is launching an awards season qualifying run for her indie effort Frankie & Alice. It opens December 17 in New York and Los Angeles before its regular theatrical release set for February 4 in the top 20 markets (shortly after nominations are announced). Freestyle Releasing will handle distribution with P and A reportedly provided by private funding the producers raised. Berry is also a producer on the 1970s–set psychological drama, a true story in which she plays a woman suffering with multiple personality disorder, exactly the kind of meaty role (and Oscar bait) that actors covet. Berry, an Oscar winner for Monster’s Ball (2001) has shepherded this as a “passion project” and is said to feel this is her best work since Ball — hence the awards push. I’m told 10,000 DVD screeners will go out to the entire Academy, critics groups, SAG Nominating Committee and others. As one of the more visible aspects of the campaign, Berry will be a prominent part of this year’s AFI Fest on November 9 in ”A Conversation With Halle Berry.”
The Best Actress race is already overcrowded this year with a boatload of contenders all jockeying for attention including Jennifer Lawrence, Annette Bening, Tilda Swinton, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Hillary Swank, Sally Hawkins, Noomi Rapace, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Lesley Manville and Michelle Williams – to name a few. Whether it might have been wiser to wait until next year remains to be seen but this is an especially tough field. The last minute stealth entry could be an effective strategy but she will also be vying for attention with Kidman’s Rabbit Hole opening on the same day, with Lionsgate employing a similar strategy for their well-reviewed Toronto Fest pickup. Like Berry, Kidman is also a producer on her film.