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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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CATHERINE LACEY: Do you think that your writer DNA was sort of shaped by how your family was displaced by the Nazi regime before you were born?
RENATA ADLER: It’s funny that you should mention that because I think it affects a lot else, specifically being a refugee. I wasn’t born there. I didn’t experience any of it. But they were refugees. So then I was thinking of this business of being a refugee, no matter in what sense.

Prenatal refugee.
Prenatal refugee and actually postnatal refugee. And I thought there are probably things in common between being a child and being a refugee and being an anthropologist.

It gives you a sense of curiosity.
But also a complete displacement. You’ve got to read the situation. You’re the new kid in school all the time. But I wasn’t aware of it then. I’m aware of it now because language affects you differently, or not. But I used to talk to Mike Nichols about it because he was a refugee. Do you envision an audience when you write? Do you envision a particular person? 

No.
Every once in a while I think: Now, what would Mike say to that?

There’s that idea that when you’re blocked, you can always just write as if it was a letter to one specific person.
Oh, that’s good. That’s a wonderful idea. Mine is more in terms of criticism. If someone was to say, “I know what that is. Do you really want to do that?” But anyway, about Mike and his attitude toward language, I remember him saying—it was a question of whether something written was fresh or not—and he would ask, “Why not smell it?” Which, from an English speaker’s point of view, is hysterical.

~ Renata Adler and Catherine Lacey In Conversation 

“Oh it was just hellish. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me. It would be stupid for me to say that I didn’t know what I was getting into. It has taken me five years to decide on a first film and I always held out for something like this. The lesson to be learned is that you can’t take on an enterprise of this size and scope if you don’t have a movie like The Terminator or Jaws behind you. Because when everybody’s wringing their handkerchiefs and sweating and puking blood over the money, it’s very nice to be able to say, ‘This is the guy who directed the biggest grossing movie of all time, sit down, shut up and feel lucky that you’ve got him.’ It’s another thing when you are there and you’re going ‘Trust me, this is really what I believe in,’ and they turn round and say ‘Well, who the hell is this guy?’ If I make ten shitty movies, I’ll deserve the flak and if I go on to make 10 great ones, this’ll probably be looked upon as my first bungled masterpiece.”
~ David Fincher, 1992

 

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