June 11, 2004 – NEW YORK, NY – IFC Productions will exec produce and finance Me and You and Everyone We Know along with Film Four, announced Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment. Me and You was written and will be directed by award-winning performance artist and filmmaker Miranda July who will star in the film along with John Hawkes (Deadwood). Gina Kwon will produce the film which has a June start date in Los Angeles. IFC Films will distribute.
"Miranda July has seamlessly conquered several mediums as a performance artist, actor, writer and director," commented IFC's Senior Vice President Caroline Kaplan. "It is very satisfying to help bring her promising cinematic vision to a broader audience with the help of our long term colleagues at Film Four."
Me and You and Everyone We Know was developed at the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs in 2003. In 2004, Amanda July was the American recipient of the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker's Award for the project.
Me and You and Everyone We Know is a unique take on contemporary life and the ongoing struggle people have connecting with others. The story focuses on a lonely shoe salesman Richard Swersey (Hawkes) who can't shake the terrifying feeling that he is watching his family from a growing distance. In panic he attempts to draw them closer to him by committing a desperate act which only succeeds in further alienating them and ignites a series of intrusive heartbreaking rituals.
"I am always only concerned with real people living with fear and wild hope — people who choose indirect, if not tortured, paths towards each other, because they are not sure that there is really anyone waiting at the other end of the road, the email, the signal, the day that follows the night of fantasy," said July.
"Miranda July is that rare thing – a truly gifted original whose work at the same time totally engages and enchants its audiences," stated Peter Carlton of Film Four. We are delighted to be backing 'Me& You & Everyone We Know. It's a clear signal that Film Four is back in the business of working with the best and most distinctive rising stars in cinema. We're delighted to be teaming up again with IFC whose credentials in this area are second to none."
Gavin Wise from Loeb & Loeb negotiated the deal on behalf of July.
Miranda July is an artist of international renown. The screenplay, Me and You and Everyone We Know, was work-shopped at the Sundance Screenwriting and Filmmaking labs in 2003. In 2004, she was the American recipient of the Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker's Award, which recognizes emerging filmmakers of exceptional talent, originality and vision.
July's short films (The Amateurist, Nest of Tens, Getting Stronger Every Day) have been featured internationally at sites such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, and have won numerous festival awards, including a Silver Globe at the San Francisco International Film Festival (New Visions, The Amateurist.) Nest of Tens was shown in the 2002 Whitney Biennial for which July was also commissioned to produce a sound installation. Miranda was again invited to participate at the 2004 Whitney Biennial with her participatory website, learningtoloveyoumore.com, created with support from the Creative Capital foundation. A performing artist with a cult-like following in both fine art and punk rock circles, July has garnered critical raves for her multi-media performances such as Love Diamond and The Swan Tool (commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam). These have been presented at venues such as The Kitchen in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.
Prolific in many mediums, July stories can be read in The Paris Review and The Harvard Review and she was recently nominated for a National Magazine Award for her non-fiction. Her radio performances can be heard regularly on NPR's The Next Big Thing. She made her feature film acting debut in Alison Maclean's Jesus' Son and directed a music video for the band Sleater Kinney. July is featured in the current edition of Cream, Phaidon's 'Biennial' of 100 important new artists.
Producer Gina Kwon has been involved in three award-winning features associated with Flan de Coco Films, the company formed by director Miguel Arteta and producer Matthew Greenfield: The Good Girl (as Co-Producer), Chuck & Buck (as Associate Producer), and Star Maps (as Production Manager). All three films premiered at Sundance Film Festivals, were sold for theatrical distribution to Fox Searchlight (The Good Girl, Star Maps) and Artisan (Chuck & Buck), and garnered numerous Independent Spirit Awards. A critical and box office success, The Good Girl, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal, won the 2002 Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. Kwon is currently in post production on The Motel, which she produced with Arteta and Greenfield, for writer/director Michael Kang (winner of the 2003 Sundance/NHK Filmmaker Award).
Kwon has also worked on numerous documentary series for television, including The Residents (TNT/Discovery Health), which she co-produced in 2002, and American High in 2000 (Fox/PBS, 2001 Emmy Award winner for Best Non-Fiction series), both with filmmaker R.J. Cutler. Recently Kwon has directed episodes of the hit teen reality series Switched! for ABC Family. Kwon got her start in international film distribution, serving for a number of years as Vice President of Myriad Pictures for producer Kirk D'Amico, where she headed up acquisitions and sales of its library of arthouse and documentary films.
This year Kwon has been chosen as the recipient of the 2004 Mark Silverman Fellowship for New Producers, in partnership with the Sundance Institute. Established as a tribute to independent producer Mark Silverman (Blood Simple, Raising Arizona), the Fellowship supports visionary independent producers through a cash grant and a group of mentors. Kwon's mentors include producer Ed Saxon, producer Janet Yang, William Morris agent Rena Ronson, and producer Dara Weintraub, who will advise Kwon through the process of producing Me & You & Everyone We Know.
IFC Films is a leading theatrical film distribution company bringing the best of independent and specialized films to theaters. Releasing approximately 10 films per year, IFC Films builds its slate of titles from an aggressive acquisitions program and selected in-house productions. Recent IFC Films include; Touching the Void which recently broke box office records to become among the top ten grossing documentaries of all time, 2003 Oscar®-nominated My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mamá También, Richard LaGravenese and the late Ted Demme's documentary A Decade Under the Influence, Intermission, The Saddest Music in the World, Camp, Kitchen Stories and Casa De Los Babys. It was recently announced that IFC Films is co-distributing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.