IFC Films, September 15, 2011

Sundance Selects Grab All North American Rights To Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna

Toronto, CANADA – September 15, 2011 – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Michael Winterbottom’s critically-acclaimed TRISHNA. The film, with a screenplay also by Winterbottom, stars Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed. Winterbottom and Melissa Parmenter produced the project, with Bankside Films handling international sales. Additionally, A Film (Benelux), Madman (Australia and New Zealand), Bac Films (France), Shooting Stars (Middle East), and Video Vision (South Africa) obtained rights to the film. TRISHNA marks IFC’s fourth collaboration with Winterbottom and fifth with Revolution Films, with previous titles including RED RIDING TRILOGY, THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, THE KILLER INSIDE ME and THE TRIP.

Based on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles, TRISHNA tells the story of one woman whose life is destroyed by a combination of love and circumstances. Set in contemporary Rajasthan, Trishna (Pinto) meets a wealthy young British businessman, Jay Singh (Ahmed) who has come to India to work in his father’s hotel business. After an accident destroys her father’s Jeep, Trishna goes to work for Jay, and they fall in love. But despite their feelings for each other, they cannot escape the conflicting pressures of a rural society which is changing rapidly through industrialization, urbanization and, above all, education. Trishna’s tragedy is that she is torn between the traditions of her family life and the dreams and ambitions that her education has given her.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects, said: "TRISNA is Michael Winterbottom’s most beautiful and sensual film and features a truly sublime performance by Frieda Pinto.  We couldn’t be happier to continue our relationship with Michael, Andrew Eaton and Melissa Parmentier at Revolution Films and working with Bankside Films."

Noted Winterbottom: “I’ve worked with IFC before on THE KLLER INSIDE ME and THE TRIP and I am delighted to be working with them again on TRISHNA."

The deal for TRISHNA was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects with Stephen Kelliher, Head of Sales & Acquisitions for Bankside Films, on behalf of the filmmakers.

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

Established in 2009 and based in New York City, Sundance Selects is a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films focusing on American independents, documentaries and world cinema.  Its unique distribution model makes independent prestige 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 include Abbas Kiarostami’s CERTIFIED COPY starring Juliette Binoche, Sundance audience award-winner BUCK, Academy Award® winner Errol Morris’ documentary TABLOID, and Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, which at $4.9 million and counting has become the company’s biggest grossing success since MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. Upcoming Sundance Selects releases include Sundance award-winning THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE: 1967-1974, SXSW award-winner WEEKEND, director Wim Wenders’ 3D PINA, Cannes Grand Prix winner THE KID WITH A BIKE directed by the Dardennes brothers, and Maiwenn’s Cannes Prix du Jury winner POLISS. Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks, Inc.


Michael Kupferberg
Strategy PR/Consulting