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.

# # #

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

# # #

Leave a Reply

Quote Unquotesee all »

DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato