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IFC Films Acquires Worldwide Rights to Award Winning Medicine for Melancholy

Film will Screen in Competition at the Los Angeles Film Festival

Winner of the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Sarasota Film Festival

New York, NY – June 18, 2008 – IFC Films has acquired worldwide rights to writer-director Barry Jenkins’ romantic drama, Medicine for Melancholy. The film, which is the feature film debut for Jenkins, is in competition at this week’s LA Film Festival and will premiere on Friday June 20th, with additional screenings on Monday, June 23rd and Tuesday, June 24th. IFC plans to release Medicine for Melancholy will be released in 2009 through IFC in Theaters, IFC Films’ day and date distribution platform which makes independent films available in theaters and on-demand, simultaneously.

"Medicine for Melancholy is one of the great American discoveries of the year," said Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment. "Barry Jenkins has delivered an intelligent, heartfelt and often funny universal love story and introduced two brilliant performers to the feature film world-Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins. The film will not only inspire and ignite great discussions among the African-American community, but is sure to engage audiences across the globe."

Medicine for Melancholy is a love story about a one-night stand told through two African-American twenty-somethings dealing with issues of class, identity, and the evolving conundrum of being a minority in rapidly gentrifying San Francisco – a city with the smallest proportional black population of any other major American City. When Micah (Wyatt Cenac) and Jo’(Tracey Heggins) stumble into the brightness of a sunny San Francisco day after a hook-up, Jo’ can’t wait to escape the uncomfortable silence, but a shared cab ride and a lost wallet soon bring a well-intentioned Micah to her front door. As caution turns to curiosity, the young couple sets off on a romantic ramble through eclectic neighborhoods and their own lives as they swap views on everything from the meaning of blackness to letting go of heartbreak.

Filmed entirely in San Francisco, Medicine for Melancholy stars Wyatt Cenac as Micah and Tracey Heggins as Jo’. Cenac is an accomplished writer and actor whose credits include the classic television comedy series King of the Hill. Currently, he appears as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Heggins has appeared in several television shows and series throughout her acting career and Medicine for Melancholy marks her first leading role in a feature film.

Jenkins began his career as a director’s assistant for Harpo Films and his most recent work includes two short films which he wrote and directed in 2003, Little Brown Boy and My Josephine. Since its premiere in March 2008 at the SXSW Film Festival, Medicine for Melancholy has garnered two prestigious awards including the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the Special Jury Award for Cinematography given to James Laxton at the Sarasota Film Festival. Medicine for Melancholy was written and directed by Jenkins and produced by Justin Barber and Cherie Saulter.

The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, IFC Entertainment’s Vice President of Acquisitions and Jeff Deutchman, Manager of Acquisitions for IFC Entertainment with George Rush, who represents the film.

About Strike Anywhere
Strike Anywhere is a multimedia production collective offering socially-relevant, independent content from young directors as well as commercial production, graphic design, animation and digital effects. Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy is the company’s first feature, to be followed this year by Amy Seimetz’s City on a Hill, currently in post-production.

About IFC Entertainment
A multi-platform leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment operates a group of companies devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience. IFC Entertainment consists of IFC Films, IFC Productions and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distribution company for independent film. IFC Entertainment’s day and date film distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters through IFC Films and simultaneously on cable’s on demand platform and PPV through IFC In Theaters, reaching 50 million homes. IFC Productions is a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects. IFC Center is a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema with luxurious seating and HD digital and 35mm projection that shows art-house films in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. IFC Entertainment’s companies are subsidiaries of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.

Recent and upcoming IFC releases include: 2007 Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days , which also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film; Gus Van Sant’s award winning Paranoid Park ; Harmony Korine’s Mister Lonely; Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Flight of the Red Balloon starring Juliette Binoche; and Tom Kalin’s Savage Grace which stars Julianne Moore. Other critically acclaimed films include John Dahl’s You Kill Me, Susanne Bier’s Academy Award nominated After the Wedding and Ken Loach’s 2006 Palme d’Or winner The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media’s NYC studios and post-production facilities.

Press Contacts

  • Jill Dortheimer
    IFC Entertainment
    917.542.6311