New York, NY March 9, 2012 – IFC Films announced today that the company is acquiring North American rights and multiple foreign territories to SLEEPWALK WITH ME, the directorial debut of Mike Birbiglia. The film premiered to critical acclaim at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was the winner of the Best of NEXT Audience Award. Birbiglia and THIS AMERICAN LIFE’s Ira Glass produced the film with Jacob Jaffke and Brian Bedol. Birbiglia also stars in the film alongside Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn, Carol Kane, Cristin Milioti, and Aya Cash. The film will be screening at the 2012 South By Southwest Film Festival next week.
In his autobiographically inspired, fictional feature debut SLEEPWALK WITH ME, comedian-turned-playwright-turned-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia wears his incisive wit on his sleeve while portraying a cinematic surrogate. We are thrust into the tale of a burgeoning stand-up comedian struggling with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship threatening to race out of his control, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore. Based on the successful one-man show, SLEEPWALK WITH ME engages in the kind of passionate and personal storytelling that transfigures intimate anguish into comic art. The film features a stellar supporting cast that includes Ambrose (SIX FEET UNDER), Kane (TAXI), Rebhorn (MEET THE PARENTS), Milioti (30 ROCK), and a sampling from the who’s who of today’s stand-up scene. Bursting with sincerity, Birbiglia’s foray into the medium marks the invigorating emergence of a strong and poignant American voice, at once hilarious and heartbreaking.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "SLEEPWALK WITH ME is an utterly charming and funny film that we’re thrilled to be releasing. It’s not a secret that Mike Birbiglia is a funny guy, but this film will also establish him as a serious actor/writer/director. We couldn’t be happier to be involved with Mike, his co-writer/producer Ira Glass, producer Jacob Jafke, Brian Bedol and our friends at the UTA Independent Film Group.”
Noted Birbiglia: "IFC has released some of my favorite comedies from the last decade – IN THE LOOP, THE RIP, TINY FURNITURE. I couldn’t be more excited for SLEEPWALK WITH ME to join that group."
Commented Glass: "We’re excited to be with a distributor who has put out so many great films, and with such competent, smart people to guide us through distributing our first movie."
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films and Jeff Deutchman, Director of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with UTA Independent Film Group 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 quality talent-driven 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. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Touching the Void, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Gomorrah, Che, Summer Hours, Antichrist, In the Loop, Antichrist, Wordplay, Cairo Time, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Tiny Furniture and Carlos. Over the years, IFC Films has worked with established and breakout auteurs, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noe, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, as well as more recent breakouts such as Andrea Arnold, Mia Hansen Love, Corneliu Porombiou, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Daryl Wein and Abdellatif Kechiche. IFC Films is a sister division to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.