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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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