NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 6, 2020) IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to TESLA, directed and written by award-winning filmmaker Michael Almereyda (Marjorie Prime Experimenter, Hamlet). Four-time Academy-Award® nominee and frequent IFC Films collaborator, Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Blaze) stars in the title role as Nikola Tesla, with Eve Hewson (Behind Her Eyes, The Knick), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet), Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show, Drunk Parents), Donnie Keshawarz (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Adjustment Bureau), Rebecca Dayan (Celeste & Jesse Forever, H.), Josh Hamilton (Eighth Grade, Blaze), and Lucy Walters (Jett, Power) to round out the cast. Producing alongside Millennium Media is Uri Singer of Passage Pictures (Marjorie Prime), Christa Campell and Lati Grobman of Campbell-Grobman Films (The Iceman), and Isen Robbins of Intrinsic Value Films (Blue Caprice). Shot by widely regarded cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Good Time, Her Smell). TESLA had its World Premiere in the Premieres Section at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. Almereyda also won this prize previously in 2017 for his film Marjorie Prime. IFC Films will release the film August 7th, 2020.
Brilliant, brooding inventor Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition. Increasingly displeased by the greed of fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan), Tesla forges his own virtuous but arduous path toward creating the innovative alternate-current motor. His European nature is at odds with budding American industrialism, and the landscape of intellectual property is treacherous—and Tesla slowly becomes jailed in his overactive mind. His associate Anne Morgan (Eve Hewson) analyzes and presents his story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice in this scientific period drama.
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ EVP of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco and Cinetic Media and Millennium Media on behalf of the filmmakers. Millennium Media is also handling foreign sales.
Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions at IFC Films said, “It’s always a cause for celebration for IFC Films to work with Ethan, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the legendary Michael Almereyda and the rest of this amazing cast to bring this unique and extraordinary film to US audiences this summer.”
Producer Uri Singer of Passage Pictures added, “This has been a long journey. Happy to collaborate with IFC, who have worked with Ethan Hawke successfully in the past. This script was written 37 years ago and thanks to Millennium and everyone involved, we are proud to have audiences see it this summer.”
Millennium’s Jeffrey Greenstein says, “We could not have found a better home for this film and are really excited to be teaming up once again with IFC to share this unconventional story of the legend that is Nikola Tesla, portrayed by the multi-talented Ethan Hawke who brings Almereyda’s vision to life alongside a stunning ensemble cast.”
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 TRUTH directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Shannon Murphy’s BABYTEETH. 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.