Cannes, France – May 21, 2008 – IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to Hunger starring Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham, the debut film for director/writer Steve McQueen and writer Enda Walsh. The film recently had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival as the Opening Night of Un Certain Regard. It was produced by Laura Hastings-Smith and Robin Gutch as a Blast! Films production for Film4, in association with Northern Ireland Screen, the BroadcastingCommission of Ireland and the Wales Creative IP Fund. Executive producers include Jan Younghusband, Peter Carlton, Linda James, Edmund Coulthard, Iain Canning. IFC Films will release Hunger through IFC in Theaters, its day and date distribution platform which makes independent films available to a national audience in theaters and on-demand, simultaneously. The film will also go through IFC Entertainment’s exclusive deal with Blockbuster Video.
"Steve McQueen has made one of the most incredible debut films I have seen and in the process astonished our entire company," said Jonathan Sehring, President, IFC Entertainment. "Michael Fassbender’s performance is the stuff of legend. We are thrilled to partner once again with Film4, as we achieved great success with them on films such Me & You & Everyone We Know and Touching The Void. We think Hunger’s success will follow in the footsteps of those films as well as some of the other highly acclaimed Cannes films we’ve released such as The Wind That Shakes the Barley and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days."
Keith Leopard who manages the IFC Entertainment exclusive relationship on behalf of Blockbuster is "pleased to have Hunger available exclusively on all Blockbuster platforms."
The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Vice President of Acquisitions and Production for IFC Films and Betsy Rodgers, Senior Counsel for IFC Entertainment with Jonathan Page and Ariel Veneziano of Icon Entertainment International and Cassian Elwes of William Morris Independent.
"We are delighted to be working with IFC to bring this remarkable film to U.S. audiences," said Veneziano.
Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the outermost limit. The film is a contender for this year’s Camera d’Or .
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 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.