IFC Films

On the Eve of the On-Demand Launch of Steven Soderbergh’s ”Che”, IFC Films Announces New Initiatives and Acquisitions

IFC Films to partner with SXSW to create a first-ever nationwide on-demand festival experience; Joe Swanberg’s World Premiere ALEXANDER THE LAST, starring Jess Weixler, and produced by Noah Baumbach, Anish Savjani and Swanberg, will be the first film to premiere simultaneously at a festival and on movies-on-demand through IFC Festival Direct

Company also announces a wide range of new acquisitions for IFC Festival Direct, including new films from Denys Arcand, Philippe Garrel, Amos Gitai, Francois Ozon, and Hong Sang-soo

Next month, company to launch IFC MIDNIGHT, a genre label within IFC Festival Direct

Park City (UT) (January 19, 2009) – IFC Films, one of the leading foreign and independent film distributors, announced today an unprecedented partnership with the South By Southwest Film (SXSW) Conference and Festival, in which five films screening at SXSW will simultaneously be available nationwide on the IFC Festival Direct on-demand platform. The line-up will include Joe Swanberg’s latest film ALEXANDER THE LAST, which will be making its world premiere at SXSW and on IFC Festival Direct.

IFC Films also unveiled new acquisitions for IFC Festival Direct, as well as a new genre label "IFC Midnight" which will launch in February. IFC Festival Direct is a program from IFC Films which gives national exposure to critically-acclaimed independent films screened at film festivals each year. Every month, millions of viewers nationwide can choose from six new films that have premiered at major film festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, SXSW and AFI.

These announcements come two days before IFC Films’ highly-anticipated on-demand release of Steven Soderbergh’s critically-acclaimed CHE, starring Benicio Del Toro. CHE is currently being shown theatrically in a complete ’roadshow’ format, as well as in two separate parts – CHE PART ONE and CHE PART TWO. To date, CHE has grossed over $500,000 theatrically, and just this weekend had a stellar $10,000 per screen average on 16 screens for the three day weekend as it expanded outside of New York and Los Angeles to the top 10 markets. The on-demand release – to be offered in two parts beginning on Wednesday, January 21st – will make the film available to 50 million homes across the country as part of the IFC In Theaters on-demand platform. Additional films in this program for 2009 include Golden Globe nominees GOMORRAH and EVERLASTING MOMENTS, Oliver Assayas’ SUMMER HOURS, Steve McQueen’s HUNGER, Agnes Jaoui’s LET IT RAIN and Cedric Klapisch’s PARIS.

Said president of IFC Entertainment Jonathan Sehring, "At a time when the U.S. marketplace for truly American independent and foreign films is rapidly changing, and many films are having difficulty getting exposure, IFC Films has created new and exciting opportunities for a wide range of films to find an audience. Our innovative programs, which we began launching nearly three years ago, offer high-quality movie choices in an exceptionally diverse range of formats. We’re excited by the growing popularity of IFC in Theaters and IFC Festival Direct, not only among audiences, who are responding in ever-growing numbers, but also among filmmakers, who are recognizing the opportunity these platforms provide in terms of bringing their work to the largest possible audience."

IFC Films and Austin’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival (March 13-21) are announcing an unprecedented new partnership which will give film lovers coast-to-coast the opportunity to experience one of America’s most vibrant and exciting film festivals as it happens. As part of this initiative, a select group of five exceptional films screening at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival will simultaneously be available nationwide on demand through IFC Films’ IFC Festival Direct program. New IFC Films acquisitions not previously announced are denoted below with an asterisk.

These films include the March 14 world premiere of ALEXANDER THE LAST* from acclaimed director and SXSW favorite Joe Swanberg (NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS, HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS). Produced by Swanberg, Academy Award® -nominee Noah Baumbach (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE) and Anish Savjani (WENDY AND LUCY), the film stars Jess Weixler (TEETH), Justin Rice (MUTUAL APPRECIATION), Barlow Jacobs (SHOTGUN STORIES), Amy Seimetz (WRISTCUTTERS, A LOVE STORY), Josh Hamilton and Jane Adams in a tender exploration of the pleasures and pitfalls of creativity, and the impact that intimate professional relationships can have on a young marriage. This will mark the third time IFC Films and Swanberg have partnered together, following NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS and HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS.

Additional films in the IFC Films-SXSW partnership include two SXSW premieres: Javor Gardev’s striking neo-noir ZIFT, Bulgaria’s official 2009 Oscar® entry; and Matthew Newton’s THREE BLIND MICE*, a dark comedy about three Australian naval officers on leave for one night before returning to Iraq. Also included as part of the partnership are two celebrated films from the 2008 SXSW Festival which will have encore screenings at this year’s festival: Barry Jenkins’ Independent Spirit and Gotham award-nominated MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY; and Joe Maggio’s poignant drama PAPER COVERS ROCK*.

Said President of IFC Entertainment Jonathan Sehring, "As IFC Festival Direct continues to grow and gain momentum, we are taking advantage of new opportunities like this partnership to make the platform even more timely, and even more closely related to the festival experience."

Said filmmaker Joe Swanberg, "I am thrilled to continue my relationship with IFC Films. Their movies-on-demand platform allows personal independent films like mine to reach the widest audience possible, and this new collaboration will allow cinephiles outside of the major cities to participate in film culture as it happens."

"SXSW, known for innovation and integration across its film, interactive, and music conferences, is thrilled to lead the way with this new initiative," said Janet Pierson, Producer of SXSW Film Conference and Festival. "Conversations are getting louder about how festivals can and should aggressively help filmmakers use new technologies to reach a reach a broader audience, and IFC Films is a natural partner for us to make this happen. We share their goal of bringing new, exciting, high quality films to an eager audience. They are not only aesthetically aligned with our philosophies, but also truly supportive of our program, consistently buying many of our emerging films (eight alone in 2008), as well as bringing great films to show at SXSW."

To raise awareness of the SXSW partnership, IFC Films will take advantage of its national reach and will run promotional ads that will appear on all major cable systems, as well as on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) television network throughout the month of March.


IFC Films continues to be firmly committed to bringing American audiences a wide range of films from around the world, and we are proud to announce several new acquisitions for IFC Festival Direct: Gerardo Naranjo’s I’M GONNA EXPLODE which played at the 2008 Venice, Toronto and New York Film Festivals and will be next featured at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. ANGEL* , an official selection at Berlin and Toronto, is from the award-winning French director Francois Ozon (SWIMMING POOL, 8 WOMEN) and stars Romola Garai, Michael Fassbender, Sam Neill and Charlotte Rampling. DAYS OF DARKNESS*, from Academy-Award® winning Canadian director Denys Arcand (THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS), stars Diane Kruger and Rufus Wainwright, and was the closing night film in Cannes. Also from Cannes is FRONTIER OF DAWN* from director Phillipe Garrel (REGULAR LOVERS), starring Louis Garrel and Laura Smet. DISENGAGEMENT* from acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai (KADOSH, KIPPUR), stars Academy-Award® winner Juliette Binoche, and was shown at Venice and Toronto. NIGHT AND DAY*, from lauded Korean filmmaker Hong Sang Soo (WOMEN ON THE BEACH), has played at the Berlin and the New York Film Festivals.

Other acclaimed international titles to be released through IFC Festival Direct in 2009 include Christophe Honore’s LA BELLE PERSONNE from Cannes; Academy Award® winner Caroline Link’s A YEAR AGO IN WINTER, a Toronto Gala Presentation; WHEN A MAN COMES HOME, from prolific Scandinavian filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (THE CELEBRATION) which premiered in Toronto; Danish director Kristian Levring’s thriller FEAR ME NOT from Toronto; and Hungarian master filmmaker Bela Tarr’s THE MAN FROM LONDON from Cannes.

Further establishing itself as a leader in foreign film distribution, IFC Films is proud to be premiering nine films in 2009 which are their countries official entries to the 2009 Academy Awards® from their respective countries. The IFC Festival Direct films are the newly acquired JERUSALEMA (South Africa) from director Ralph Ziman; the previously announced Anna Melikyan’s MERMAID (Russia); Baltasar Kormakur’s WHITE NIGHT WEDDING (Iceland); Niels Arden Oplev’s WORLDS APART (Denmark); Benoit Pilon’s THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (Canada), as well as the aforementioned ZIFT (Bulgaria). IFC In Theaters will release Carlos Moreno’s DOG EAT DOG (Colombia); Jan Troell’s EVERLASTING MOMENTS (Sweden); and Matteo Garrone’s GOMORRAH (Italy).

Also being announced are three exciting English language independent films from up-and-coming directors: Oliver Irving’s HOW TO BE*, a new comedy starring Robert Pattinson (TWILIGHT); the Independent Spirit Award-nominated I’LL COME RUNNING* directed by Spencer Parsons, which premiered at Los Angeles Film Festival and stars Melonie Diaz (A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS); and Vito Rocco’s British comedy FAINTHEART*, starring Eddie Marsan (HAPPY GO-LUCKY) as a nerdy father who does battle re-enactments as a hobby.

IFC Films is also announcing the launch of IFC Midnight, a label within IFC Festival Direct which will offer the latest in international genre cinema: horror, sci-fi, thriller, erotic arthouse, action and more. New titles include: WILD MAN OF NAVIDAD*, Duane Graves and Justin Meeks’s lo-fi horror film from a producer of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE; Thomas Vincent’s incisive political thriller THE PROTOCOL*; Carolyn Miller’s chiller STILL WATERS*; Mark Tonderai’s taut suspenser HUSH*; Bernard Rose’s THE KREUTZER SONATA* starring Danny Huston; Pablo Proenza’s supernatural psychological thriller DARK MIRROR*; and Laurence Trillings’ GROUP SEX*, about a man with a history of broken romances who meets the woman of his dreams only to find out she’s a sex addict.

Films from IFC In Theaters and IFC Festival Direct are available nationwide for 90 days on most major cable systems which together represent more than 50 million and 30 million households, respectively. The films can be found in a special "IFC In Theaters" or "IFC Festival Direct" branded section within each cable company’s on demand platform.

About IFC Entertainment
A leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, Festival Direct, IFC Productions, and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distributor of independent film. Its unique day and date distribution model, ’IFC In Theaters,’ makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, reaching 50 million homes. ’IFC Festival Direct’ features a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals and offers them exclusively through Video on Demand. IFC Productions is a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects. IFC Center is a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema with luxurious seating and HD digital and 35mm projection that shows art-house films in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. IFC Entertainment’s companies are subsidiaries of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel, and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media’s NYC studios and post-production facilities.

About SXSW
The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival offers a uniquely creative space for filmmakers, film fans and even cinephiles to partake in the big and small picture discussions about filmmaking today. The Conference hosts a five-day adventure in the latest filmmaking trends and new technology, featuring Conversations with film icons, intimate mini-meetings and one-on-one mentor sessions with industry veterans. The internationally-acclaimed, nine-day Festival boasts some of the most wide-ranging programming of any US event of its kind, from provocative documentaries to subversive Hollywood comedies, with a special focus on emerging talents. Learn more at sxsw.com/film.

Press Contacts

  • Cynthia Swartz
    Publicity, 42West
    O: 212-277-7557
    C: 917-597-0804
    E: Cynthia.Swartz@42west.net

    Rebecca Fefferman
    Press Liaison
    SXSW Film Festival
    T: 512-467-7979 x 236