NEW YORK, NY (September 15, 2020) — IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring North American rights to documentary DEAR SANTA, a family-friendly Christmas film directed by Dana Nachman (PICK OF THE LITTER, BATKID BEGINS) and produced by Chelsea Matter, Brendan Gaul, Christopher Karpenko and Nachman in partnership with UM Studios. The United States Postal Service afforded the filmmakers unprecedented access to their 100-year-old program ‘Operation Santa’ during the 2019 holiday season. IFC Films will release the film on December 4th, 2020, kicking off the 2020 holiday season.
This is the second collaboration between IFC Films and Nachman, a veteran documentarian and producer whose acclaimed films during the past decade have ranged from crowd-pleasing audience favorites to hard-hitting investigative films. Their film PICK OF THE LITTER grossed over $1 million in the global theatrical box office and on demand/digital revenues.
DEAR SANTA shines a light on the 100-year-old ‘Operation Santa’ Program of the United States Postal Service. Each year, hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa arrive at Post Offices around the country. Through Operation Santa, the United States Postal Service makes it possible for the public to safely adopt these letters and make children’s dreams come true. The film invites audiences along for the magic of this massive endeavor. Traveling the country, much like Santa does on Christmas Eve, the film focuses on select ‘Operation Santa’ Centers: some in metropolitan areas like the massive operation in New York City and others in small towns where the Post Office is the heart of the community.
The film highlights letters where a child is asking for something poignant, something that goes beyond the common wish for a toy. Santa will explain how he enlists kind hearted strangers across the country for these special requests while he concentrates on toy making, and his demanding delivery schedule. This timeless documentary captures the warmth and spirit of Christmastime through the lens of this great American tradition, provoking audiences throughout the world to ask themselves how they can make the world a better place, one gesture at a time.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “We’re delighted to partner with Dana once again, this time on DEAR SANTA, which puts a spotlight on the incredible individuals behind projects like ‘Operation Santa’. Dana is a documentarian who reminds us continually of the importance of community and we are certain this film will bring joy to viewers of all ages this holiday season.”
Director Dana Nachman added, “I have had the absolute honor of being able to work on DEAR SANTA for the last 10-months. The opportunity to dive into a story that highlights the best of humanity during one of our nation’s darkest times has been an immeasurable gift. I am so thrilled that Dear Santa will now go out into the world and be a gift for audiences everywhere!”
Dana Nachman is a veteran documentary filmmaker and former journalist. Her films have received dozens of awards from top film festivals across the U.S. and around the world. Her recent film PICK OF THE LITTER, which she directed with Don Hardy, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival, was distributed by IFC Films, and was adapted into an original television series for Disney+ that she also co-directed. Her documentary BATKID BEGINS debuted at Slamdance Film Festival and was distributed by Warner Bros / New Line Cinema. Her film WITCH HUNT debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and her film LOVE HATE LOVE debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. She also directed the documentaries THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT, WASHED AWAY and the comedies HOOK UP 2.0 and THE FINAL SHOW. Her television news work earned her multiple Emmy® awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a regional AP award. Nachman is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ EVP of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco with ICM Partners and Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of 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) and digital platforms.
Upcoming releases include THE NEST directed by Sean Durkin (MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE) and OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES directed by IFC alum Laura Gabbert (CITY OF GOLD). Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.