By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

IFC FILMS TAKES U.S. RIGHTS TO DAVID LOWERY’S DRAMATIC COMPETITION TITLE AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS AT SUNDANCE FILM FEST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, Nate Parker Star

PARK CITY, UT (January 25, 2013) – IFC Films announced today from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring U.S. rights to writer-director David Lowery’s second feature AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, which premiered on January 20 at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film, with a screenplay by Lowery, stars Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker and Keith Carrradine, and was produced by Sailor Bear’s Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston, Parts & Labor’s Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, Primary Productions’ Amy Kaufman and Cassian Elwes. The film was executive produced by Evolution Entertainment’s Mark Burg and Michael Menchel, Paradox’s Fredrik Malmberg and Daniel Wagner, and Lagniappe’s Jesse Kennedy and Logan Levy.

Set against the backdrop of 1970’s Texas Hill Country, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS is a romantic American story that follows three characters on various sides of the law — outlaw Bob Muldoon (Affleck), his wife Ruth Guthrie (Mara), and a local sheriff named Patrick Wheeler (Foster), who gets caught in their crosshairs.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “Coming into Sundance, this was one of the biggest titles on our list and probably on many buyers lists, and so we are ecstatic about this acquisition for our company. This is a beautiful and exquisitely crafted romantic American drama, with superlative performances across the board.  We are honored to now be able to say we get to work with David Lowery, a remarkable new voice in filmmaking, as we take this film to audiences.”

“We put our all into making AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS and bringing it to Sundance, and our hope was that it would find a home with a distributor who’s passion for the film would match our own. The good folks at IFC Films demonstrated to us that, not only do they share that fervor, but that they’re ready to roll up their sleeves and get some dirt under their fingernails as they work with us to bring this picture to the big screen,” said Lowery. “I can’t wait.”

Lowery is a filmmaker from Texas. His first feature ST. NICK (2009) and his short-film PIONEER (2011) have screened at festivals around the world. In addition to his second feature AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS premiering at Sundance this week, he also co-wrote Yen Tan’s film PIT STOP, and edited the Shane Carruth-directed film UPSTREAM COLOR, both which premiered at Sundance this week as well.

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Elwes and WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.

 

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

 

This is the second acquisition for IFC Films at the festival on the heels of securing rights to Michael Winterbottom’s Steve Coogan starrer-THE LOOK OF LOVE.  IFC Films’ sister label Sundance Selects acquired rights two docs in competition at the festival — Nick Ryan’s THE SUMMIT and Richard Rowley’s DIRTY WARS.

 

Parts & Labor producers’ Van Hoy and Kundsen previously worked with the IFC team on Aaron Katz’s COLD WEATHER, which they produced.  Their company also has produced Mike Mills’ BEGINNERS, (for which Christopher Plummer won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor); Ira Sachs’ KEEP THE LIGHTS ON and Julia Lotkev’s THE LONELIEST PLANET.  They also have two other films premiering in competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — photojournalist Shaul Schwarz’s documentary NARCO CULTURA; and Andrew Dosunmu’s second feature MOTHER OF GEORGE.

 

Sailor Bear’s producing duo of Halbrooks and Johnston also were recipients of the 2013 Indian Paintbrush Producers Award, given out at the festival this week.

 

 

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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 model makes 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. Recent releases include PEACE, LOVE, AND MISUNDERSTANDING starring Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener; and YOUR SISTER’S SISTER starring Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948