Park City, UT (January 27, 2011) – IFC Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced today from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival that the companies are partnering to acquire North American rights to George Ratliff’s SALVATION BOULEVARD, which premiered this week in the festival’s Premieres section. The film, with a screenplay by Ratliff (whose previous films include Hell House and Joshua) and Doug Max Stone, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart, stars Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Jim Gaffigan and Marisa Tomei. The film, a Mandalay Vision production of a Mandalay Pictures film, was produced by Cathy Schulman, Celine Rattray and Peter Fruchtman, and will be released theatrically via IFC Films.
In the film, Pastor Dan (Brosnan) is a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl (Kinnear) is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The megachurch is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence. The road to hell-in this case, SALVATION BOULEVARD-is paved with good intentions-gone hysterically wrong.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "George Ratliff takes a big leap forward with this film which, aside from featuring a powerhouse cast in Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Jim Gaffigan and Jennifer Connelly, is a clever and sharp comedy that delivers."
"This unique alliance between IFC Films and Sony will enable SALVATION BOULEVARD to take advantage of the most cutting edge distribution strategies. Mandalay strives to realize the vision of each of our filmmakers, and this distribution partnership will further that goal," says Cathy Schulman, President, Mandalay Pictures and SALVATION BOULEVARD producer.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films and Betsy Rodgers, Vice President of Business and Legal Afffairs for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Scott Shooman, SPWA Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions, and Michael Helfand, SPWA SVP of Business Affairs, and Rena Ronson and Richard Klubeck at UTA on behalf of the filmmakers.
Ratliff grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and went to film school at the University of Texas in Austin. His first feature film, Plutonium Circus (1995), a documentary about the extremely secretive Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant in Amarillo, won the award for best feature documentary at the SXSW Film Festival and started his career. His next documentary, Hell House (2001), tracked a megachurch’s annual Halloween ritual of staging a haunted house to scare kids into Christianity. His thriller Joshua screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released through Fox Searchlight. Ratliff lives with his wife and three sons in Santa Monica.
About IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of high profile talent-driven independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent 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 over the years have included My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Touching the Void, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Gomorrah, Che, Summer Hours, Antichrist, In the Loop, Antichrist, Wordplay, Cairotime, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Tiny Furniture and Carlos. Over the years, IFC Films has worked with established and breakout auteurs, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noe, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, as well as more recent breakouts such as Andrea Arnold, Mia Hansen Love, Corneliu Porombiou, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Daryl Wein and Abdellatif Kechiche. IFC Films is a sister division to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by Rainbow Media.
About SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE ACQUISITIONS
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.
About MANDALAY VISION
Mandalay Vision is Mandalay Pictures’ independent development, production and financing company, which builds upon the brand’s impressive history of producing films for the global marketplace. Celine Rattray is the President of Mandalay Vision. Cathy Schulman oversees the division’s creative affairs on behalf of Mandalay Pictures.
Focusing primarily on films exhibiting innovative storytelling with auteur directors and premier talent, Mandalay Vision’s debut release THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival darling directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, is one of the year’s most successful independently produced and financed film. The film is currently receiving awards accolades from around the country, a Producers Guild nomination for best picture, a Writers Guild nomination for best screenplay, two Golden Globe Award wins including Best Picture-Musical or Comedy and Best Actress-Musical or Comedy (Annette Bening), and four Oscar nominations (Best picture, best original screenplay, best actress and best supporting actor). Upcoming releases include SOUL SURFER, starring Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood and Anna Sophia Robb, which is the true story of competitive teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again. SOUL SURFER will be released by Tri-Star in April, 2011; THE WHISTLEBLOWER, a drama directed by Larysa Kondracki and starring Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave and David Strathairn, which debuted at Toronto Film Festival and sold to Samuel Goldwyn, who will release the picture in August 2011; VANISHING ON 7TH STREET, an apocalyptic thriller directed by Brad Anderson, starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo which was financed by Herrick Entertainment, also debuted at the Toronto Film Festival where it sold to Magnet and will be released on February 18, 2011.
In 2010, Mandalay Vision completed production on three films including BERNIE, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine; as well as their two films which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to SALVATION BOULEVARD, Mandalay Vision also debuted ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, writer/director Sam Levinson’s debut film starring Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Haden Church, Ezra Miller and Demi Moore.