NEW YORK, NEW YORK (April 13, 2022) – IFC Films announced today it is acquiring worldwide rights (excluding Nordics) to the SXSW award-winning documentary BAD AXE, directed by David Siev, making his debut feature. Returning home to rural Michigan, Siev captures an astonishing, personal look at his Asian-American family’s quest to keep their local staple restaurant and American dream alive, amidst the backdrop of pandemic and Trump-era political and racial tensions. Captured with arresting intimacy, the film is a stunning portrait of a family, a community, a nation and a world – and testament to those who are there for you when all else fades away. Produced by Jude Harris (HALF THE PICTURE, 69: THE SAGA OF DANNY HERNANDEZ), Diane Quon (MINDING THE GAP, FINDING YINGYING), Katarina Vasquez (YEAR ZERO), and David Siev (BAD TRIP, YEAR ZERO). Executive Produced by Jeff Tremaine (JACKASS FOREVER, THE DIRT), Shanna Zablow Newton (JACKASS FOREVER, BAD TRIP), Marci Wiseman (BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY), Daniel J. Chalfen (PRAY AWAY, UNITED SKATES), Dawn Bonder (I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE), Michael Meinhold (YEAR ZERO) and Tim Chow.
BAD AXE celebrated its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and received Special Jury Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling in the Documentary Feature Competition. The festival jury noted, “Stories centered on the pursuit of the “American Dream” abound. Rarely do they portray the sacrifices and recurrent trials that the promise of a better life entails the way director David Siev accomplishes. For its ability to reveal something unexpected about the American fabric and the American family, BAD AXE deserves celebration.” IFC Films will release the film in theaters and on VOD in 2022.
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films said, “David’s love letter to his hometown of BAD AXE, is a powerful and humanistic portrayal of a family navigating life through an historic time. We’re thrilled to partner on this multi-layered documentary that is exactly the kind of independent cinema we are proud to foster. Many films speak about social justice and the American dream, but rarely are we granted such perspective and insight to those living through the personal sacrifice it sometimes takes to live in America. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome David and his family to the IFC Films family.”
David Siev, director of BAD AXE said “This is a deeply personal project and I’m grateful for IFC Films’ passion for my vision and the way that they have embraced my family and our story. IFC’s commitment to independent, director-driven films shines through in all of their acquisitions. I’m honored for BAD AXE to join their extraordinary slate.”
In a review for Roger Ebert, Brian Tallerico praised the filmmaker’s “deft editor’s eye…opening not just his door but his heart” adding that the result is “a deeply personal film that feels essential when we tell the story of how 2020 shaped this country.” Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter also described the film as “Potent and personal” and “a love letter to overcoming adversity with the help of family, of business, of identity.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Adam Koehler, Manager of Acquisitions at IFC Films with Andrew Herwitz, President of The Film Sales Company 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 Clarie Denis’ BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE, Andrea Arnold’s first documentary COW, Jacques Audiard’s PARIS 13TH DISTRICT, and the Venice Golden Lion award-winner, HAPPENING, directed by Audrey Diwan. 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 IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.