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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

PHASE 4 FILMS ACQUIRES U.S. AND CANADIAN RIGHTS TO JAMES WESTBY’S RID OF ME

SUBMARINE TO PARTNER ON A FALL THEATRICAL RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Los Angeles, CA (August 31, 2011) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to director James Westby’s black comedy RID OF ME.  Phase 4 will partner with Submarine on an aggressive theatrical run this fall. Westby (Film Geek, The Auteur), who wrote and edited the film, also produced it along with Katie O’Grady via her Alcove Productions banner.  Phase 4 will begin with a limited release this Fall and then expand around the country.

Set in Portland, Oregon, RID OF ME is a black comedy that follows Meris (O’Grady), an awkward young woman trying too hard to perfect her marriage, amongst a new group of friends.  With a breakthrough lead performance by O’Grady, and an ensemble that includes Art Alexakis (of rock band Everclear) and Theresa Russell (Black Widow, Bad Timing), RID OF ME follows Meris’ rejection from the cool crowd down a path towards truth and salvation which includes a job at a local candy shop, a group of punk friends, community gardening and a newfound love for Cambodian rock music.

“After screening RID OF ME at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, we at Phase 4 were blown away by the film’s sharp wit and offbeat originality,” said Meyerowitz. “Katie O’Grady is a true discovery that will undoubtedly have audiences and industry insiders buzzing. That, combined with James Westby’s unique, insightful direction and a terrific ensemble cast, make this a film that we are all very excited to share.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Phase 4 and Submarine” said O’Grady. “This film is so incredibly important to both James and myself, and we’re delighted to have partners in Phase 4 and Submarine that are as passionate and dedicated to the project as we are.  We’ve had an amazing experience showing it to audiences across the country at festivals and can’t wait for more people to have the chance to discover it.”

The deal was negotiated by Larry Greenberg, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for Phase 4 Films and Josh Braun at Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

RID OF ME has its world premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and recently was the recipient of the Founder’s Prize for Best US Fiction Film at the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival.

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About PHASE 4 FILMS

Phase 4 Films distributes feature films and special interest content across all traditional theatrical and new media platforms in North America.  Phase 4 is currently in release on Kevin Smith’s Canadian tour of RED STATE starring Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman; and the company’s previous releases include VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE, director Craig Teper’s revealing, and inspirational portrait of the iconic hairdresser who changed the world with a pair of scissors; and Matt Tyrnauer’s acclaimed fashion documentary VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR.  In November 2011, Phase 4 will release the Sundance 2011 award-winner ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, Sam Levinson’s dark comedy about a dysfunctional family, starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Burstyn, and Ezra Miller.

About SUBMARINE
Submarine, founded and run by twin brothers Josh and Dan Braun, is a hybrid sales and production company, consulting and strategizing on the sale and distribution of feature films and documentaries and producing unique and high quality feature films, documentaries, web and television properties. Submarine has represented such films as Winter’s Bone, Food, Inc., Valentino The Last Emperor, Page One: Inside the NY Times, Buck, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Tabloid, Bill Cunningham NY, Humpday, Project NIM, Tanner Hall, Tiny Furniture, House of the Devil and many others.

This fall Submarine will launch the Submarine Deluxe label to theatrically release James Westby’s Rid of Me and the Sundance Special Jury award winning documentary Being Elmo. www.submarine.com

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“Chad Harbach spent ten years writing his novel. It was his avocation, for which he was paid nothing, with no guarantee he’d ever be paid anything, while he supported himself doing freelance work, for which I don’t think he ever made $30,000 a year. I sold his book for an advance that equated to $65,000 a year—before taxes and commission—for each of the years of work he’d put in. The law schools in this country churn out first-year associates at white-shoe firms that pay them $250,000 a year, when they’re twenty-five years of age, to sit at a desk doing meaningless bullshit to grease the wheels of the corporatocracy, and people get upset about an excellent author getting $65,000 a year? Give me a fucking break.”
~ Book Agent Chris Parris-Lamb On The State Of The Publishing Industry

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

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