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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

Screen Media Films Acquires Award-Winning Festival Favorite “SHUFFLE”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, March 29, 2012 – Suzanne Blech, president of Screen Media Films, has announced the acquisition of North American distribution rights to Kurt Kuenne’s thriller SHUFFLE with an eye towards a release in 3Q of 2012.  The film stars TJ Thyne as a man who wakes up at a different age in his life each morning and is seemingly helpless to stop it until he starts to see a pattern that could lead him out of the madness.

“SHUFFLE is a wonderfully imaginative thriller with twists that will challenge audiences and we are excited to introduce the film into the marketplace,” says Blech.  “Kurt Kuenne is a talent to take notice of right now.”

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne says about the acquisition: “I’m thrilled to be working with Screen Media in bringing this film to the widest possible audience.  Suzanne Blech and her colleagues recognized and embraced this film prior to its recent shower of accolades, and that kind of belief and enthusiasm is something I respect tremendously.”

SHUFFLE is the tale of a man who begins experiencing his life out of order; every day he wakes up at a different age, on a different day of his life, never knowing where or when he’s going to be once he falls asleep.  He’s terrified and wants it to stop – until he notices a pattern in his experience, and works to uncover why this is happening to him – and what or who is behind it.

The film has received numerous awards on the festival circuit – including the Audience Award at Sedona International FF, the Director’s Spotlight Award at the Cleveland International FF, and the New Visions Award at Cinequest – in addition to playing at the following film festivals: Santa Barbara, Hollywood, Heartland (closing night film), St. Louis, Garden State (opening night film), and Atlanta. SHUFFLE will screen this weekend at the Phoenix FF and at the Vail FF, and will have its international premiere at the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film on April 6.

Part Twilight Zone-style mystery, part Frank Capra fantasy, SHUFFLE stars TJ Thyne, co-star of the hit TV show “Bones.”  The film’s voluminous prosthetic old age make-up was done by Barney Burman, winner of the 2010 Academy Award® for Best Make-up for “Star Trek.”  SHUFFLE was written, directed and scored by Kurt Kuenne, filmmaker of the acclaimed documentary “Dear Zachary” and the hit short film “Validation” (also starring TJ Thyne).  For more information about the film, please go to http://www.shufflethemovie.com/.

The deal was negotiated by Suzanne Blech and Seth Needle from Screen Media, and Josh Braun from Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

ABOUT SCREEN MEDIA

Screen Media acquires the rights to high quality, independent feature films for the US and Canada.  Screen Media’s theatrical releases include “La Mission,” starring Benjamin Bratt; “The City of Your Final Destination,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney; “Lymelife,” starring Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts and Cynthia Nixon and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” starring Robin Wright and Keanu Reeves. Since 2001, Screen Media Films has released more than 250 titles including “Noel,” starring Penelope Cruz and Susan Sarandon; “Sherrybaby,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal; Kevin Bacon’s directorial debut, “Loverboy;” and Emmy nominated “Dog Whisperer” with Cesar Milan.

Screen Media Films is a division of Screen Media Ventures, LLC.  With a library of over 1,500 motion pictures, Screen Media Ventures is one of the largest independent suppliers of high quality motion pictures to U.S. and international broadcast markets, cable networks, home video outlets and new media venues. For more information, visit www.screenmediafilms.net.

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“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies

How do you make a Top Ten list? For tax and organizational purposes, I keep a log of every movie I see (Title, year, director, exhibition format, and location the film was viewed in). Anything with an asterisk to the left of its title means it’s a 2014 release (or something I saw at a festival which is somehow in play for the year). If there’s a performance, or sequence, or line of dialogue, even, that strikes me in a certain way, I’ll make a note of it. So when year end consideration time (that is, the month and change out of the year where I feel valued) rolls around, it’s a little easier to go through and pull some contenders for categories. For 2014, I’m voting in three polls: Indiewire, SEFCA (my critics’ guild), and the Muriels. Since Indiewire was first, it required the most consternation. There were lots of films that I simply never had a chance to see, so I just went with my gut. SEFCA requires a lot of hemming and hawing and trying to be strategic, even though there’s none of the in-person skullduggery that I hear of from folk whose critics’ guild is all in the same city. The Muriels is the most fun to contribute to because it’s after the meat market phase of awards season. Also, because it’s at the beginning of next year, I’ll generally have been able to see everything I wanted to by then. I love making hierarchical lists, partially because they are so subjective and mercurial. Every critical proclamation is based on who you are at that moment and what experiences you’ve had up until that point. So they change, and that’s okay. It’s all a weird game of timing and emotional waveforms, and I’m sure a scientist could do an in-depth dissection of the process that leads to the discovery of shocking trends in collective evaluation. But I love the year end awards crush, because I feel somewhat respected and because I have a wild-and-wooly work schedule that has me bouncing around the city to screenings, or power viewing the screeners I get sent.
Jason Shawhan of Nashville Scene Answers CriticWire