Psychological thriller After from first-time director Pieter Gaspersz has been picked up by Paladin and will be released August 8 in partnership with Accretion Films. Sabrina Gennarino scripted the tale of a middle class clan in upstate New York centered around cheerful but fragile matriarch Nora (Quinlan) whose family stone-cutting business is slowly failing and whose delicate balance is threatened by a secret that could change everyone’s lives forever. John Doman, Pablo Schreiber, Adam Scarimbolo, Diane Neal, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Bruno Gunn, Mandy Gonzalez, and Gennarino co-star. Gennarino also produced with Gaspersz. The pic will go day and date on digital and DVD via Virgil Films, which snagged North American ancillary rights to the Girl’s Gotta Eat production.
Paladin has acquired The Maid’s Room and will release the Michael Walker-helmed thriller theatrically and on digital platforms this spring, per the company. Pic played the Hamptons Festival and was shot in that resort area. Paula Garces of Devious Maids, plays that role again, caring for a spoiled family and gaining leverage when the son of her employers comes home with a bloodied car after a hit and run. Devilworks, a new London-based sales agency, has pacted for international rights and is launching the title at the current European Film Market in Berlin.
Paladin plans an April theatrical release for A Short History Of Decay, a comedy from writer-director Michael Maren that premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival in October. Bryan Greenberg, Linda Lavin, Harris Yulin, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Emmanuelle Chriqui star in the pic, which centers on a struggling Brooklyn writer (Greenberg) dumped by his girlfriend who must visit his sick father in Florida and discovers his aging parents are in much better control of their lives than he is. The deal was negotiated by Paladin president Mark Urman and attorney Alfred Sapse, who also produced the pic. ARC Entertainment has pacted for all post-theatrical domestic rights.
Sundance title Metro Manila has been chosen to represent the UK in the Foreign Language Oscar category, making it the 11th film ever submitted by the country. The film, which won the Audience Award in the World Cinema competition in Park City, is directed by British helmer Sean Ellis, an Oscar nominee in 2006 for his short Cashback. The Tagalog-language Metro Manila centers on a poor farmer who moves his family to the capital city in search of a better life, only to unwittingly become mixed up with a criminal underworld after he takes a job as an armored transport driver. Ellis wrote the script with Frankie E. Flowers. It hits British theaters today via Independent. Distribution partners 108 Media and Paladin have North American rights. There’s also a remake afoot courtesy of Fox International Productions. This is the third film with Filipino elements to be submitted to the Academy this year. Transit, by Hannah Espia, is the Philippines’ entry, and Anthony Chen’s Camera d’Or winner Ilo Ilo focuses on a Filipino domestic in Singapore, that film’s submitting country. Check out the Metro Manila trailer below:
If you’ve never been to the desert arts free-for-all that is Burning Man, soon you can experience it from the cushy confines of a theater. Paladin and FilmBuff have pacted to release Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter’s docu Spark: A Burning Man Story profiling the annual gathering, which began as a social-artistic experiment in utopian living and has grown into a bacchanal drawing over 60,000 free spirits in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The pic debuted at SXSW and will hit theaters in NY and LA on August 16 with an iTunes/digital release via FilmBuff to follow on August 17. Spark will then expand to select limited theatrical markets leading up to Burning Man 2013, perfect promo timing for the event held over Labor Day weekend from August 26 to September 2.
Sean Ellis’ Philippines-set Metro Manila is bound for a remake courtesy of Fox International Productions which acquired rights earlier this week. The Sundance World Cinema Audience Award winner has now been picked up by distribution partners 108 Media and Paladin for North America. Written by Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated English filmmaker Ellis (Cashback) and Frankie E. Flowers, the thriller follows a poor farmer seeking a brighter future who takes the most dangerous job in Manila as an armored transport driver. Paladin’s Mark Urman and 108 CEO Rastogi negotiated the deal with Independent’s Abigail Walsh and Jessica Lacy, on behalf of ICM partners, who represent Ellis.
EXCLUSIVE: One of the last buzz titles at the Toronto Film Festival is about to find a distributor. I’m told that Mark Urman’s Paladin/108 Media is acquiring all U.S. rights to Midnight’s Children, the Deepa Mehta-directed adaptation of the 1981 Salman Rushdie novel. The film will get a platform theatrical release in April. Mehta helmed the Oscar-nominated Water and this film is based on one of Rushdie’s most famous Booker Prize-winning works. Rushdie wrote the script with Mehta and he attended the film’s gala premiere in Toronto.
Midnight’s Children is a lavish period drama about India’s shift from British colonialism to independence. The story is about two infants born on midnight August 15, 1947, the moment India achieved independence. The infants are switched at birth — one rich being raised poor and the poor child is raised rich. The story contains some magical elements, but it is a symbol of the destiny for India itself, played out over three decades. The film was financed by Telefilm Canada and Echo Lake and produced by David Hamilton, with FilmNation brokering worldwide sales.
Now, is anybody going to buy Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder? I realize the film didn’t get nearly as rousing a reaction at Toronto as did Malick’s last …
The deals, mostly small ones, are flowing here as the Toronto Festival heats up on a rainy Saturday.
* In their first major deal since forming a new distribution partnership last month, 108 Media and Paladin have acquired all North American rights to Michel Gondry‘s latest film, The We And The I. The film played Cannes and makes its North American debut at Toronto. An early March opening in New York and Toronto is planned, expanding after that. Set on the last day of the school year, the pic follows a group of Bronx high schoolers who board a city bus on their way home, with summer break ahead of them. The cast is mostly first timers.
* Film Movement acquired Three Worlds, from French filmmaker Catherine Corsini. Three characters collide in the aftermath of a car crash. Al, a young man from a modest background, is ten days away from marrying his boss’s daughter and succeeding him as the head of the car dealership where he has worked almost his entire life. While driving home drunk from his bachelor party, Al commits a hit-and-run and flees the scene. Gnawed by guilt, he goes to the hospital to inquire anonymously about his victim. Meanwhile, a young woman who saw the accident completes an unusual triangle between the driver and the victim.
The weekend’s big box office news is of course Lionsgate’s monolithic Hunger Games, but new specialty rollouts managed to have the odds favor them as well, most notably Samuel Goldwyn Films’ October Baby and Sony Pictures Classics‘ The Raid: Redemption. Indonesian-language action feature Raid scored a $15,781 average from 14 locations, a solid rollout for the feature that will be re-made in English by Screen Gems, so stay tuned. Samuel Goldwyn delivered October Baby in several hundred theaters, reaping good numbers on its three-day tally, while others including 4:44 Last Day On Earth and Musical Chairs debuted modestly.
Among second weekend specialty holdovers, last weekend’s per screen average winner The Kid With A Bike added 21 locations, taking in more than $100K for a respectable $4,500 average (though in straight percentage terms, it’s a 72% drop) for the French-language Cannes 2011 winner. Paramount Vantage’s Jeff Who Lives At Home stayed put in 254 theaters, grossing $600K, averaging $2,362, a decent 29% drop from its opener last week. CBS Films’ Salmon Fishing In The Yemen maintained momentum in its third weekend, doubling its number of theaters, grossing $680K, averaging $5,484, a 25% decline from its sophomore run last week.
1. 4:44 Last Day On Earth (IFC Films) NEW [3 Theaters]
Weekend $8K, Per Screen Average $2,867
2. Brake (IFC Films) NEW [2 Theaters]
Weekend $4,048, Per Screen Average $2,024
3. The Deep Blue Sea (Music Box …
Specialty Box Office: ‘The Deep Blue Sea,’ ‘Musical Chairs,’ ‘The Raid: Redemption,’ ’4:44 Last Day On Earth’
This weekend’s specialty offerings are comparatively light compared to last week’s openings. A few of this week’s new limited releases are forgoing the typical New York and Los Angeles showings, with Music Box’s The Deep Blue Sea heading to both cities and some suburban locations in those metropolitan areas as well as south Florida. Likewise Paladin’s Musical Chairs will roll out in south Florida and will hold off on L.A. until the second weekend. Sony Classics will take The Raid: Redemption to 10 “exclusive runs” this weekend after screening the film at recent festivals this year hoping to build momentum. IFC Films, meanwhile, is hitting NYC and LA with its sci-fi fantasy 4:44 Last Day On Earth with Willem Dafoe.
The Deep Blue Sea
Director: Terence Davies
Writers: Terence Davies, Terence Rattigan
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston and Ann Mitchell
Distributor: Music Box Films
Director Terence Davies (The House Of Mirth) proved to be the big financing draw getting The Deep Blue Sea off the ground, producer Sean O’Connor told Deadline. Davies had not directed a narrative feature in a decade, but getting him behind the camera made fund raising surprisingly easy. “It’s a period movie made for 2.4 million pounds,” O’Connor said. “Financing was much more straightforward than I thought it would be, I was surprised by how straightforward it was. But Terence was the main draw.” There was …
Ahead of its world premiere tomorrow at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, New York-based indie distributor Paladin has picked picked up Otter 501. The film is the true story of an orphaned otter that is rescued on the Northern California coast, noted Paladin president Mark Urman. Paladin plans a spring release.
Susan Seidelman’s latest feature film Musical Chairs will be released by indie distributor Paladin. Newcomers Leah Pipes and E.J. Bonilla play aspiring New York City dancers Mia and Armando. When Mia’s dream is shattered in an accident and she lands in physical rehab all seems lost but Armando discovers an upcoming wheelchair ballroom dancing competition. He persuades Mia to participate and organizes a crash-training program to prepare her and the others in the rehab facility to compete. Tony-winner Priscilla Lopez, Jaime Tirelli, Laverne Cox, Morgan Spector, Auti Angel, Jerome Preston Bates, Nelson R. Landrieu, and Angelic Zambrana also star. Produced by Janet Carrus and Joey Dedio, Musical Chairs will screen January 28 at Lincoln Center as the centerpiece for the annual “Dance On Camera” festival. Paladin plans a March theatrical release. Seidelman’s most recent feature was Boynton Beach Club. She also directed Making Mr. Right, Smithereens, Cookie, Desperately Seeking Susan, She Devil and the pilot for HBO’s Sex And The City. Paladin’s recent releases include Tom Shadyac’s I Am and Tiffany Shlain’s documentary Connected. In addition to Musical Chairs, Paladin also will release the New Zealand film Boy directed by and starring Taka Waititi in March.
Mark Urman’s Paladin made a U.S. distribution deal for Boy, the Taika Waititi-directed film that became a sleeper hit on its home turf in New Zealand. Set in 1984, the film focuses on an 11-year-old (James Rolleston) who grows up in the remote Maori community of Waihau Bay, obsessed with Michael Jackson and imagining that his long-absent father (Waititi) is a world traveler. When dad returns, he’s a lovable loser who served a stretch for robbery. They try to come to grips with one another and develop a relationship. The film played in the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
The Whale, a documentary about a lonely young killer whale who caused upheaval in a small Western Canadian town when he tried to make friends with humans, will be released theatrically by Paladin, company president Mark Urman announced today. Canada-born Ryan Reynolds, fresh off his starring role in Green Lantern, narrates and is an executive producer on the project. The doc will play limited engagements in late summer and expand in the fall. Paladin recently released Tom Shadyac’s documentary I Am and launches Love Etc. on Friday.
EXCLUSIVE: Love Etc., the Jill Andresevic-directed documentary that is the first film production from Jonathan Tisch’s Walnut Hill Media, has been acquired for distribution by Paladin CEO Mark Urman. The documentary made its premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival last fall, where it won the Audience Award for documentary. The film, shot entirely in New York, will debut in exclusive Manhattan engagements in June before Paladin expands around the country through the summer.
Love Etc. tracks five different relationships over the course of a year. The participants include 18-year-old high school sweethearts and an 89-year-old readying for a 50th wedding anniversary. One couple plans a big wedding but struggles after the honeymoon is over. There is a divorced father of teenagers who braves the dating market, as does a single gay man who’s about to become the father of twins. Urman called the film “as poignant, poetic and polished as the best fiction, [with] the added bonus of being completely real.” The film was produced by Jeffrey Stewart (who launched Walnut Hill Media with Tisch in 2008), Chiemi Karasawa and Andresevic. Tisch is exec producer. It was his visit to the City Hall Marriage Bureau to get a license in 2007 that prompted the idea for the film. Paladin is currently in release on the Tom Shadyac documentary I Am, which launched in three cities before opening last Friday in L.A. It bows March 18 in New York.
Last we heard from Tom Shadyac, he’d captained the first giant flop of a mostly hit-filled resume, with the bloated Noah’s Ark pic Evan Almighty. That led to his exit from the Universal lot where he generated such blockbusters as Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, Patch Adams and The Nutty Professor. Turns out, Shadyac has been quite busy. Mark Urman’s Paladin has made a deal to release I Am, a first person documentary that Shadyac directed that chronicles his unusual journey of self-discovery.