IFC Films

IFC Films Announces Deal With Celluloid Dreams to Bring Foreign Films to U.S. Audiences

Company Acquires Distribution Rights to Ten Critically Hailed Films from Around the Globe

2009 Releases Planned Under IFC’s Festival Direct Banner

New York, NY (November 6, 2008) – IFC Films, the leading American distributor for independent and foreign films, announced today it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to ten highly regarded films from around the world including Caroline Link’s A YEAR AGO IN WINTER, Thomas Vinterberg’s WHEN A MAN COMES HOME and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s STILL WALKING, among other film festival hits. Celluloid Dreams, the international sales company, sold IFC domestic rights to all ten titles as part of an unprecedented package deal. Almost all of the films in the deal were part of Celluloid’s 2008 Toronto Film Festival slate. Arianna Bocco, IFC Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions, brokered the deal with Hengameh Panahi from Celluloid and the announcement was made jointly by Hengameh Panahi from Celluloid and IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring.

The acquisition includes films by some of the leading distinctive voices in world cinema today. Caroline Link’s A YEAR AGO IN WINTER, from Constantin Film, a 2008 Toronto Gala Presentation, is her highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2001 Academy Award winning German film NOWHERE IN AFRICA. WHEN A MAN COMES HOME is from prolific Scandinavian filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, whose previous credits include Cannes Palme d’Or winning THE CELEBRATION and DEAR WENDY. STILL WALKING, a 2008 Toronto Special Presentation, comes from two-time Palme d’Or nominee Hirokazu Kore-eda, who previously worked with IFC on the 2005 release NOBODY’S HOME. And WHITE NIGHT WEDDING, Iceland’s official Best Foreign Film Oscar entry, comes from director Baltasar Kormakur, whose JAR CITY was released on IFC Festival Direct earlier this year.

IFC plans to release the ten films in 2009 under its Festival Direct video-on-demand label. Festival Direct was launched earlier this year to give national exposure to critically-acclaimed independent films screened at marquee film festivals each year. Selected films in the Festival Direct program will receive theatrical exposure through upcoming festivals, as well as through art-house, cinematheque and museum bookings.

Said Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment, "All of us at IFC are thrilled to bring this treasure trove of movies from such a prestigious group of international filmmakers to audiences nationwide. The exceptional national reach of Festival Direct means that new foreign films now have the chance to be seen by millions of people at the touch of a remote control button. We’re very pleased to be working with Celluloid Dreams on this unprecedented acquisition, which we believe is further evidence that an exciting new chapter of foreign film distribution is now underway."

Said Hengameh Panahi from Celluloid Dreams, "We are thrilled to be working with a trusted distributor like IFC to get these quality international films seen by the widest possible audience. We hope this is just the start of a beautiful partnership with IFC to increase the visibility and accessibility of foreign films throughout the United States."

Caroline Link, director of A YEAR AGO IN WINTER, said "I am honored that A YEAR AGO IN WINTER will be part of this wonderful new platform to bring films to American audiences."

Other films in the acquisition include the Japanese drama ALL AROUND US from Ryosuke Hashiguchi; Duane Hopkins’ British ensembler BETTER THINGS, which premiered in Cannes this year; Marco Bechis’ Venice Golden Lion-nominated BIRDWATCHERS, set in Brazil; Safy Nebbou’s French thriller MARK OF AN ANGEL, starring Catherine Frot and Sandrine Bonnaire, which screened in both Cannes and Toronto this year; Yu Lik-wai’s Korean crime film PLASTIC CITY, which screened in both Toronto and Venice this year; and German director Dennis Gansel’s THE WAVE from Constantin Film, which premiered at Sundance in 2008. BETTER THINGS and PLASTIC CITY are also currently being shown at the 2008 AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Specific VOD release dates will be announced at a later date.


Director: Ryosuke Hashiguchi
Cast: Kimura Tae, Lily Frank, Baisyo Mitsuko
An extraordinary cinematic journey into the life of a married couple, as well as an oblique portrait of a decade of change in Japan.

Director: Duane Hopkins
Cast: Rachel McIntyre, Emma Cooper, Liam McIlfatrick, Freddie Cunliffe, Jane Foxhall,Tara Ballard, Betty Bench, Frank Bench, Patricia Loveland.
This daring first feature, deeply inflected by the United Kingdom’s visual arts scene, takes well-worn themes of alienation, youth addiction and emotional isolation and remakes them as minimalist, overlapping tableaux.

Director: Marco Bechis
Cast: Claudio Santamaria, Alicelia Batista Cabreira, Chiara Caselli, Abrisio Da Silva Pedro
In Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, wealthy farm owners face off with the land’s original inhabitants in a battle with overwhelming economic and spiritual ramifications.

Director: Safy Nebbou
Cast: Catherine Frot, Sandrine Bonnaire
Two of France’s finest actors take on roles of mothers with something to defend, resulting in a drama of constantly building tension and suspense.

PLASTIC CITY (Brazil/China/Japan)
Director:Yu Lik-wai
Cast: Joe Odagiri, Anthony Wong, Huang Yi, Jeff Chen
A seductive, violent yet philosophical gangster drama set in Brazil that takes the viewer from the jumbled sprawl of the favelas to the deep Amazonian rainforest.

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Hiroshi Abe, Kirin Kiki, Yoshio Harada, Yui Natsukawa, Sasumu Terajima, You, Kazuya Takahashi, Shohei Tanaka
A powerful family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents to commemorate the death of the eldest son, who drowned 15 years earlier.

THE WAVE (Germany)
Director: Dennis Gansel
Cast: Jurgen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Jennifer Ulrich, Christiane Paul
An idealistic teacher takes his students a little too far into a classroom role play on the theme of autocracy.

WHEN A MAN COMES HOME (Denmark/Sweden)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Oliver Moller Knauer, Thomas Bo Larsen, Ronja Mannov Olesen, Helene Reingaard Neumann, Morten Grunwald, Karen Lise Mynster
A tender offbeat comedy on the complexities of love and family.

Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Cast: Kilmir Snaer Gudnason, Margret Vihjalmsdottir, Laufey Eliasdottir, Throstur Leo Gunnarsson
Kormakur’s most assured and ambitious film to date, WHITE NIGHT WEDDING updates and modernizes Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov and transplants it to Flatey, a remote island off Iceland’s north shore.

Director: Caroline Link
Cast: Karoline Herfurth, Josef Bierbichler, Corinna Harfouch, Hanns Zischler, Miel Maticevic
Polished, insightful and affecting, A YEAR AGO IN WINTER probes beneath the surface of comfort and stability to find characters grappling with the deepest loss, elevating an often hidden family trauma to the level of timeless drama.

About IFC Entertainment

A leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, Festival Direct, IFC Productions, and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distributor of independent film. Its unique day and date distribution model, "IFC In Theaters," makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, reaching 50 million homes. IFC Festival Direct features a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals and offers them exclusively through Video on Demand . 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

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