Coveted Award Winner at 2008 Sundance Film Festival and 2008 Berlin International Film Festival
New York, NY ? May 16, 2008 – IFC Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to Anna Melikyan's award-winning Mermaid. The winner of Best Director in the World Cinema category at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and the FIPRESCI prize at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, Melikyan's coming-of-age drama will screen at the Cannes Film Festival in the market on Saturday, May 17th and Sunday, May 18th.
IFC plans to release Mermaid through its new Festival Direct offering, part of IFC Entertainment's multi-platform distribution model. Through Festival Direct, IFC makes select films that have screened at marquee film festivals available on-demand to a national U.S. audience.
"Part of the reason we created Festival Direct was to give great films like Mermaid the opportunity to be seen by a wide audience," said Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment. "We were dazzled by Mermaid when we saw it at Sundance. It does what all great fairy tales do; it transports us to another world. Anna is a truly gifted
filmmaker that we are thrilled to have opportunity to work with."
Recently named one of Variety's "10 Directors to Watch," Anna Melikyan is a seasoned writer-director whose body of work has garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Since its release, Mermaid has earned numerous awards, including Best Director in the World Cinema category at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the FIPRESCI prize at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, and the Grand Prix prize and Best Actress award (Mariya Shalayeva) at the 2008 Sofia International Film Festival.
Set in modern-day Russia, Mermaid is a fanciful tale of an introverted little girl, Alisa who grows up believing she has the power to make wishes come true. She must reconcile this belief with reality when, as a young woman, she journeys to Moscow and grapples with love, modernity and materialism. It is there that fate takes Alisa by the hand and introduces her to a man with a cross on his chest that reads "save and protect," changing her life forever.
Arianna Bocco, vice president of Acquisitions and Production for IFC Films negotiated the acquisition with Mark Ankner from Endeavor and Armen Dishdishyan from Central Partnership, who represented the filmmaker.
IFC has been a major presence at the Cannes Film Festival in recent years. The company has acquired back-to-back Palme d'Or winners, including Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days and Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley. IFC also acquired 10 films at last year's festival including Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park, which won the Prize of the 60th Anniversary, California Dreamin', which won the Un Certain Regard top prize, as well as the upcoming Catherine Breillat's The Last Mistress. The company also released the three-time award-winner Me and You and Everyone We Know and the prize-winner Nobody Knows in recent years.
About Central Partnership:
Central Partnership Group was founded in 1996 and consists of the Central Partnership television and film production company, and the independent distributor Central Partnership Sales House, along with the Internet portal video24.ru. Central Partnership Group is actively involved in the development of Russian film industry by selecting, financing and supervising quality projects. Central Partnership owns one of the largest library in Russia, including over 1,400 feature length films and 4000 hours of TV series.
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 Films 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 critically-acclaimed and award-winning Paranoid Park ; Hou Hsiao Hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon starring Juliette Binoche; and Tom Kalin's Savage Grace starring Julianne Moore. Other 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, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.