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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“I never, ever, ever read anything about myself. Not my interviews, not stories about me. I never, ever read any criticism of my films. I scrupulously have avoided any self-preoccupation. When I first started, that was not the case. I just pay attention to the work and don’t read about how great I am or what a fool I am. The enjoyment has got to come from doing the project. It’s fun to get up in the morning and have your script in front of you and to meet with your scenic designer and your cinematographer, to get out on the set and work with these charming men and beautiful women and put in this Cole Porter music and great costumes. When that’s over, and you’ve made your best movie, move on. I never look at the movie again — I never read anything about it again.”
~ Woody Allen

I do think the polemic of diversity right now is being handled with a lead pipe. It’s talked about in a way that’s not complex— and it’s a very complex issue. It’s not black and white. It’s not a conspiracy to keep women down. It’s a psychology of risk aversion. Women are question marks to the studios The indie world is changing, television is changing, but if you talk about mainstream Hollywood, they’re still looking at a question mark. [So] it’s not some kind of war. It’s people trying to figure out, imperfectly, how to change a culture that has been one way for a really long time. In terms of this movie, though, Sony was on our ass about diversity from day one. They were like, ‘Look: We want you to make your own movie. We just also want to tell you that there are other options, ones that we’re really open to, and here’s all the people we love.’ And those lists, they were the most diverse lists I’ve ever seen.
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