NEW YORK, NY (October 30, 2019) – IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to THREE CHRISTS directed by Jon Avnet (FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, JUSTIFIED) and co-written by Eric Nazarian and Jon Avnet, based on Milton Rokeach’s ground breaking and controversial experiment chronicled in his book, “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti.” The film stars Richard Gere (PRETTY WOMAN, DAYS OF HEAVEN, NORMAN), Peter Dinklage (GAME OF THRONES, THE STATION AGENT), Walton Goggins (JUSTIFIED, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, THE UNICORN), Bradley Whitford (THE WEST WING, GET OUT) Julianna Margulies (THE GOOD WIFE, ER), and Charlotte Hope (GAME OF THRONES, THE SPANISH PRINCESS). The film was produced by Daniel Levin, Molly Hassel, Jon Avnet and Dr. Aaron Stern. IFC Films will be releasing the film theatrically on January 3rd, 2020.
Based on the true-life 1959 experiment at Michigan’s Ypsilanti State Hospital, THREE CHRISTS is the story of psychiatrist Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere) whose paranoid schizophrenic patient (Peter Dinklage) believes he is Jesus Christ. Unwilling to use brutal electroshock therapy, Dr. Stone instead begins a risky, unprecedented experiment by transferring his patient to live together with two other paranoid schizophrenics who also believe they are Jesus (Bradley Whitford, Walton Goggins). Their free-spirited, delightful chaos clashes with Stone’s colleagues who were intent on preserving the soul-numbing routine of the institution at all costs. Stone’s radical belief that paranoid schizophrenic patients should be treated not with confinement and electroshock therapy but with empathy and understanding will push the boundaries of psychiatric medicine and leave everyone involved – including Dr. Stone – profoundly changed. THREE CHRISTS is a fascinating and moving look at one man’s journey into the deepest mysteries of the human mind.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “We’re excited to be working with such an established filmmaker as Jon Avnet to bring this heartfelt and deeply relevant true-story about the road to find more humanity in mental health practices to audiences across the US.”
Lisa Schwartz, Co-President of IFC Films added, “We’re thrilled to be working with a stellar cast that truly brings this deeply felt and extraordinary true-story to life.”
Director Jon Avnet added, “Working with Richard, Peter, Walton, Bradley as well as Julianna Margulies, Jane Alexander, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Root and Charlotte Hope was a guilty pleasure. Their dedication and skill in bringing to the big screen this story of empathy and compassion to those suffering from mental illness was exhilarating and humbling.”
THREE CHRISTS was financed by Narrative Capital’s media fund. The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers of IFC Films with CAA Media Finance and Marc H. Simon of Fox Rothschild LLP 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) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes. Upcoming releases include Hirozaku Kore-eda’s THE TRUTH starring Julitette Binoche and Catherine Deneuve, as well as the Czech Oscar entry for 2020 THE PAINTED BIRD directed by Václav Marhoul. 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.