January 20, 2004 – CSA: The Confederate States of America, written and directed by Kevin Willmott, has been picked up by IFC Films for North American distribution. The announcement was made today by Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment, from the Sundance Film Festival where CSA screened to sold out audiences in the American Spectrum section.
Bold, satirical and wildly funny, the film poses the question: What would have happened if the South had won the Civil War? Played as a straight-faced Ken Burns-style documentary with uncanny parallels to our current society, CSA presents an alternative modern day America as a land in which slavery is alive and well throughout the 50 states, other non-whites and non-Christians are relegated to reservations, the country is in an ongoing Cold War with Canada and a Slave Shopping Network plays on TV. In the words of Spike Lee, an Executive Producer, the film is "eye opening and jaw dropping."
CSA: The Confederate States of America stars Charles Frank, Evamarii Johnson, Rupert Pate and Larry Peterson. It was Produced by Rick Cowan and Executive Produced by Spike Lee and Marvin Voth.
Jonathan Sehring remarked, "Kevin Willmott has made a completely original film that is provocative and confrontational. It is exactly the kind of project that IFC embraces; it asks more questions than it answers, it's extraordinarily brave, and it's an example of superb and purposeful filmmaking. We're thrilled to be working with Kevin and Rick and are proud to add this to our slate."
Willmott added, "Making CSA has been a long labor of love and the ultimate payoff is finding a home with IFC. Their passion for the film combined with their creative marketing ideas and desire to really spur debate won us over."
The deal was negotiated by Sarah Lash, IFC's Director of Acquisitions, and Andrew Herwitz of The Film Sales Company.
Kevin Willmott grew up in Junction City, Kansas and has worked as a peace and civil-rights activist. He collaborated with Mitch Brian on Shields Green and The Gospel of John Brown for 20th Century Fox and Michael Blake's Marching to Valhalla for Oliver Stone. He also co-wrote (with Brian) the mini-series of The 70s (NBC). "Colored Men" and "Gotta Give It Up!" are his latest scripts. He is an assistant professor in the film studies department at Kansas University.
IFC Films is a leading theatrical film distribution company bringing the best of independent and specialized films to theaters. Releasing approximately 10-12 films per year, IFC Films builds its slate of titles from an aggressive acquisitions program and selected in-house productions. Recent IFC Films include the 2003 Oscar®-nominated My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mamá También, Camp, Casa De Los Babys and A Decade Under the Influence. Upcoming releases include Intermission, Kitchen Stories and Touching the Void. The Saddest Music in the World, scheduled for release in April, is also screening at the Sundance Film Festival as a Premiere. IFC Films, IFC Productions, and InDigEnt make up IFC Entertainment.
IFC Entertainment is a part of IFC Companies, which has created a unique end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent, and maximizing the value of independent film. With a television network, a film distribution and production unit, and a VOD service, IFC Companies represents the future of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique position to broaden the independent film audience nationwide and to expand the opportunities for independent filmmakers. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.