September 18, 2010

A few more acquisitions from TIFF to report since the last couple times we checked in.  Per THR:

  • Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions teamed to buy the Dan Rush’s Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell
  • IFC Films added Barry W. Blaustein’s Peep World, which centers on a dysfunctional family gathering, to its TIFF collection
  • Oscilloscope Laboratories picked up Kelly Reichard’s Meek’s Cutoff, starring Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood

Hit the jump for synopses and official press releases.

The synopsis for Everything Must Go:

Nicolas Halsey (Will Ferrell) is not having a good day. Not only has he been fired from his sales-manager job of sixteen years, but he returns home to find the locks changed and his belongings strewn outside, the spoils of his failed marriage scattered across the lawn for all the world to see.

So starts Everything Must Go, a wryly humorous drama starring Ferrell, which examines five endless days in the life of a man who believes he has lost everything. Deciding to both fight and give up, Nick appropriates the object-laden lawn as his living room; he stations himself in a recliner and entertains himself with neighbour-watching, while steadily chipping away at his six-month sobriety. When the police show up to shut down the illicit spectacle, he invokes a legal loophole that buys him four more days of lawn-time: residents of Plano, Texas are permitted to hold private yard sales for a maximum of five consecutive days.


The press release for Peep World:


Toronto, ON (September 18, 2010) – Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Films, announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights to Barry W. Blaustein’s black comedy PEEP WORLD.

PEEP WORLD was produced by Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino, and Keith Calder.  The all-star ensemble includes Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silvermann, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Ron Rifkin, Taraji P. Henson, and Lesley Ann Warren.

The deal was negotiated by IFC Films’ Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Arianna Bocco with CAA.

On the seventieth birthday of their hard charging businessman father (Ron Rifkin), four siblings and their extended relatives make plans to reunite for dinner to celebrate the momentous occasion, despite an unshakable animosity towards one another that*s about to come to a blistering boil. The youngest sibling, Nathan (Ben Schwarz), has just published a bestselling and revealing exposé about their family*s most intimate and shameful exploits, and no one is happy about it except himself.

In spite of his insurmountable financial woes, Jack (Michael C. Hall) is a semi-responsible husband and hard-working professional who is starting to feel the choke hold of his impending fatherhood. His brother Joel (Rainn Wilson) is doing the best he can to stay alive in the face of perpetual unemployment and a pair of loan sharks following his every move. Their sister Cheri (Sarah Silverman) is just plain pissed off at everyone, especially Nathan, who, along with his book, has become the lightning rod for her every neurotic complaint. Making matters worse, the movie adaptation of Nathan*s book is currently in the works, and their father*s new girlfriend (Alicia Witt) has been cast in the role of Cheri.

This is IFC Films’ fourth major acquisition at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.  The company previously acquired James Gunn’s SUPER starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, and Werner Herzog’s 3-D CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS and Barry Avrich’s UNAUTHORIZED:  THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN PROJECT.



And here’s the press release for Meek’s Cutoff:


Critically acclaimed film stars ensemble cast of Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Tommy Nelson, Neal Huff, and Rod Rondeaux

New York, NY (September 17th, 2010) Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American distribution rights to Kelly Reichardt’s western drama, MEEK’S CUTOFF. The film reunites the filmmakers and O-Scope who previously worked together distributing Reichardt’s 2008 acclaimed WENDY AND LUCY. Recently screened at Venice (in competition) and Toronto film festivals, MEEK’S is being hailed as one of the most critically adored films of the early festival season. O-Scope will release the film in the first half of 2011.

The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon train of three families has hired mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a short cut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants face the scourges of hunger, thirst and their own lack of faith in one another’s instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven himself unreliable and a man who has always been seen as a natural born enemy.

Reichardt says, “We’re all super glad to be working with the Oscilloscope family again and we’re looking forward to the ride.” Adam Yauch, head of Oscilloscope says, “It’s hard to put words together that can convey how excited we are to work with Kelly and her team again. It is an honor to work with filmmakers of this caliber, especially given the fact that, through the process of releasing WENDY AND LUCY, we have become friends with them, so really I could not ask for more. As a side note, MEEK’S CUTOFF is so real feeling and looking that I suspect Kelly may have stolen our plans and completed work on a time-machine that we had been putting the finishing touches on, and that MEEK’S is actually a documentary that she went back and shot in 1845. If anyone has any evidence to that effect, please contact me directly ASAP. My email address is any@oscilloscope.net.”

The film was produced by Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, Anish Savjani and Neil Kopp.

The deal was negotiated by Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.



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