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Specialty Box Office: ‘Detachment,’ ‘Jeff Who Lives At Home,’ ‘The Kid With A Bike,’ ‘Natural Selection,’ ‘The Understudy’

By | Friday March 16, 2012 @ 3:22pm PDT

Most indie films struggle financially in the production stage, but the challenges don’t stop when it’s finally time to head into release. Good word of mouth, of course, can be a holy grail in terms of box office for these films, including this week’s spotlight of specialty releases. IFC Films hit the festival circuit with their Belgian feature The Kid With A Bike by auteurs the Dardenne brothers. Robbie Pickering is opening his multiple SXSW ’11 winner Natural Selection, while Tribeca Film is rolling out Detachment. Indie filmmakers the Duplass brothers had a bit more in terms of resources for Jeff Who Lives At Home, though they used their DIY roots to keep costs low, while British filmmakers David Conolly and Hannah Davis sold their home when unexpected expenses came their way on The Understudy.

Directors: Tony Kaye
Writer: Carl Lund
Cast: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Director Tony Kaye admits a bit of apprehension about how his film Detachment may be perceived in the U.S. Featuring American stars Adrien Brody and Marcia Gay Harden, the film revolves around a substitute teacher who goes to class and discovers a connection to students and teachers with his latest assignment. “There are a lot of people who think it’s a movie about teachers and schools but it’s not,” Kaye told Deadline. “People going in thinking it is will be unhappy about it. Like Star Wars this is not about robots that fight each other. The tricky thing with Detachment is that if you’re going to make a movie about a substitute teacher in an ailing school one would think that’s what the film is about.” What Kaye did make, he explained, is a film about “humanity and people in difficult situations” and how they choose to cope, though without judgment. Kaye added that performance is central to the film, which he said isn’t an “every day occurrence” today and was about getting “great people” to play as many of the roles as possible. Read More »

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Robbie Pickering To Direct ‘The Kitchen Sink’ At Sony Pics

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 2:05pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures set Robbie Pickering to direct Oren Uziel’s The Kitchen Sink, the genre collision about the unlikely alliance between a high school-aged vampire, zombie and human as they try to save their town from invading aliens. The script was a top choice on the 2010 Black List. Matt Tolmach is producing, and it was one of the first projects his company acquired after he left his executive job and jumped right in to produce the Spider-Man reboot with Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad. It looked for a moment like Jonah Hill would make his directing debut on the project, after co-writing and producing 21 Jump Street. Instead, it will be Pickering, who directed and wrote the Spirit Awards-nominated Natural Selection.

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CAA Signs ‘Natural Selection’ Helmer Robbie Pickering

By | Monday December 5, 2011 @ 8:52am PST
Mike Fleming

CAA has signed Robbie Pickering, who wrote and directed Natural Selection, the film that was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards last week, one for Best First Feature. The movie premiered at the last South By Southwest Film Festival, where it won Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. Pickering, who’d been repped by Verve, is writing with partner Jase Ricci a new Bugs Bunny animated feature for Warner Bros, and the Johnny Knoxville-starrer Moustache Riders at Paramount.

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