TORONTO, CANADA – September 11, 2012 – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to director Neil Jordan’s supernatural drama BYZANTIUM. Moira Buffini wrote the screenplay for the film, which stars Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Mays, and Caleb Landry Jones. Stephen Woolley, Alan Moloney, Elizabeth Karlsen, William D. Johnson, and Sam Englebardt produced the film with Mark Manuel, Ted O’Neal, Sharon Harel-Cohen, Danny Perkins, Norman Merry executive producing. The film world premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9th.
In BYZANTIUM, Eleanor (Ronan) is a precocious girl with a bent for storytelling. A natural introvert, her idea of a good time is to put pen to paper and reflect on her inner life. Her "sister" Clara (Arterton) is the complete opposite: extroverted and sexual, she struts around in stilettos and skin-tight garb, attracting hungry male gazes wherever she goes. Both carry secrets from deep in their shared past – all 200 years of it – which bubbles to the surface as Jordan wends his way through the twists and turns of the plot. It turns out that Clara was involved in a passionate love affair during the 1799-1815 Napoleonic Wars, while at the same time Eleanor was abandoned as a child. In the present, both seek to preserve their secret from their unsuspecting new companions. Eleanor falls for a sweet young waiter (Jones), while Clara settles on a homey, unsuspecting man (Mays) who has just come into an inheritance: the Byzantium Hotel, which has seen better days. The fun begins as Eleanor and Clara shack up in the hotel, feeding off their victims while attempting to stay one step ahead of their pursuers, who are hot on the duo’s trail after Clara rather violently disposes of a particularly seedy pickup.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “Eighteen years after INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, Neil Jordan returns to the genre and proves it was worth the wait. This beautiful, riveting and emotionally involving film is every bit as inventive as we could have hoped for. Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan are mesmerizing. We are incredibly excited to work with Neil and the entire team behind the film.”
The deal for BYZANTIUM was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions and Jeff Deutchman, Director of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with CAA and WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers. WestEnd Films is handling international sales on the title.
IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by
AMC Networks Inc.
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. Recent releases include PEACE, LOVE, AND MISUNDERSTANDING starring Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener; and YOUR SISTER’S SISTER starring Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass. Upcoming releases include Walter Salles’ Cannes competition film ON THE ROAD starring Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund (which will be released jointly with Sundance Selects) and Josh Radnor’s LIBERAL ARTS starring Elizabeth Olsen and Radnor. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
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