By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

IFC FILMS TAKES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO STEPHEN ELLIOTT’S CHERRY

New York, NY (March 22, 2012) – IFC Films announced today that the company is acquiring North American rights to acclaimed author Stephen Elliott’s directorial debut CHERRY. The film stars Ashley Hinshaw, Dev Patel, Heather Graham, and James Franco. Produced by Jordan Kessler and Elizabeth Destro, in association with Enderby Entertainment, Elana Krausz, Gordon Bijelonic/Datari Turner Films, and Kink.com, CHERRY premiered earlier this year at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. It will have its North American premiere on April 24 at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

CHERRY is about Angelina (Hinshaw), an 18-year-old girl on the verge of finishing high school. One morning her boyfriend (Jonny Weston) suggests she take naked pictures for money. She balks at first but then does the photo shoot, using the money to run-off with her best friend (Patel) to San Francisco. In San Francisco, while cocktailing in a strip club, Angelina meets Frances (Franco) a well-off lawyer who offers to introduce her to a different kind of world, a place full of expensive dresses and fancy parties. At the same time Angelina, using the moniker Cherry, has begun exploring the San Francisco porn industry under the direction of Margaret (Graham) a former performer turned adult film director.

CHERRY was shot in the San Francisco Armory, home of Kink.com. At 250,000 square feet, the armory is the largest adult film studio in the world. Elliott is a former sex worker and the author of seven books including The Adderall Diaries. The movie was written by Elliott and Lorelei Lee, a porn performer who is also a writer and lecturer at New York University.

CHERRY challenges assumptions about porn, sexuality, and success, and faces the difficult question of where you need to be in order to find yourself.

“I’m thrilled to be working with IFC,” Elliott said. “This is an independent movie that looks at the adult industry in a way it’s never beenlooked at before. We needed a company that wasn’t afraid and really understood independent cinema. Nobody fits that bill better than IFC.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films and Jeff Deutchman, Director of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with ICM on behalf of the filmmakers. ICM represents Hinshaw, Taylor, Weston and Gordon Bijelonic/Datari Turner Films.

IFC Films is a sister division to IFC Midnight and Sundance Selects, and is owned andoperated by AMC Networks Inc.

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About IFC FILMS

Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of quality talent-driven independent film.  Its unique distribution modelmakes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Touching the Void, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Gomorrah, Che, Summer Hours, Antichrist, In the Loop, Antichrist, Wordplay,Cairo Time, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Tiny Furniture and Carlos.  Over the years, IFC Films has worked with established and breakout auteurs, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noe, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, as well as more recent breakouts such as Andrea Arnold, MiaHansen Love, Corneliu Porombiou, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Daryl Wein and Abdellatif Kechiche. IFC Films is a sister division to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé