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IFC Films and the Criterion Collection Announce Home Entertainment Partnership to Release Contemporary Classics

Criterion to handle sell through for select films from IFC Films upcoming slate and library

Initial releases to include Arnaud Desplechin’s A CHRISTMAS TALE, Matteo Garrone’s GOMORRAH and Steven Soderbergh’s CHE

New York, NY – September 1, 2009 – In a move designed to preserve contemporary classic cinema for future generations, IFC Films, one of the leading distributors for independent and foreign films, and The Criterion Collection, the premiere video distribution company of the best in world cinema, today announced a partnership that gives Criterion sell through home entertainment distribution rights for select IFC Films titles. Through the deal, Criterion acquires the rights to distribute IFC Films’ titles on DVD in the U.S., and will release sell through special editions of each film. The announcement was made today jointly by IFC Films’ Jonathan Sehring with Criterion’s Peter Becker and Jonathan Turell.

Criterion will distribute select upcoming titles from IFC Films, as well as titles from IFC Films’ esteemed library. Each title will be released in special DVD packaging with original box art, offering the highest technical quality and original supplements and bonus material. Select titles will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray.

Criterion and IFC Films are pleased to immediately announce the exclusive releases of several independent and foreign titles including three critically acclaimed films direct from the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Arnaud Desplechin’s French drama A CHRISTMAS TALE will be released on November 10. Winner for a Special Prize at Cannes for the 61st anniversary of Catherine Deneuve’s contribution to cinema, A CHRISTMAS TALE stars Denueve & Mathieu Amalric and tells the story of a family with strained relationships. On November 24 Criterion will release GOMORRAH, directed by Matteo Garrone and presented by Martin Scorsese. GOMORRAH, a crime film based on the novel by Roberto Saviano, won the Grand Prix at Cannes and received a 2008 Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film. Also in 2009, Criterion will release Steven Soderbergh’s 2008 epic CHE, starring Benicio del Toro as revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a role for which he received the Best Actor Award at Cannes. The film was produced by Laura Bickford and written by Peter Buchman and Benjamin van der Veen. CHE will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray.

Upcoming 2010 releases include Jan Troell’s 2008 Golden Globe-nominated EVERLASTING MOMENTS; Olivier Assayas’ acclaimed 2009 box office hit SUMMER HOURS, starring Juliette Binoche; Steve McQueen’s award-winning film HUNGER starring Michael Fassbender; Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s STILL WALKING; and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Venice and C?sar Award-winning THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN.

Criterion will also release special editions of films from IFC Films’ esteemed library including Alfonso Cuaron’s breakout film Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN. A Mexican coming of age story which took world audiences by storm in 2001, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdu. Also scheduled for release is a special edition of Christopher Nolan’s FOLLOWING, a 1998 film noir and Nolan’s directorial debut. The precursor to Nolan’s MEMENTO, BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, FOLLOWING tells the story of a young man who follows strangers around the streets of London and is drawn into a criminal underworld.

"From the inception of IFC Films, we modeled our acquisition strategy on Criterion’s but with the intent on focusing on the auteurs of today," said Jonathan Sehring, IFC Films’ President of IFC Entertainment. "It’s a great honor and thrill for us to embark on this partnership with them. They are the golden seal of approval."

Peter Becker from Criterion commented, "IFC Films has been on an incredible roll, hunting down daring international films and spotting filmmakers whose work will stand the test of time. Criterion has always presented a mix of international classics and director-approved editions of important contemporary films, so this new slate of releases fits our mission perfectly. These films are future classics, and we’re very excited about the opportunity to work with the filmmakers to present them in great editions right from the start."

About IFC Entertainment

A leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, Festival Direct, IFC Productions, and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distributor of independent film. Its unique day and date distribution model, ’IFC In Theaters,’ makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, reaching 50 million homes. ’IFC Festival Direct’ features a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals and offers them exclusively through Video on Demand. 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.

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, multiplatform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC (The Independent Film Channel), WE tv, Sundance Channel, IFC Entertainment and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading U.S. distributor of independent and foreign film with a unique day and date distribution model, "IFC In Theaters," that makes films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform; IFC Festival Direct features titles acquired from major international film festivals and initially offers them exclusively through On Demand; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Center, a state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, an advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, a 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.

About The Criterion Collection
The Criterion Collection is a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films on home video. Their editions often feature restored film transfers, commentary tracks, and other supplemental features that the company pioneered when it released its first laserdiscs, Citizen Kane and King Kong, at the end of 1984. Ever since, Criterion has been working closely with filmmakers and scholars to ensure that each film is presented as its maker would want it seen
and published in an edition that will deepen the viewer’s understanding and appreciation of the art of cinema.

Press Contacts

  • Cynthia Swartz
    IFC Films
    Publicity, 42West
    O: (212)277-7557
    C: 9170597-0804
    E: Cynthia.Swartz@42west.net