IFC Films

Walter Salles’ On The Road to be Jointly Distributed by IFC Films and Sundance Selects



New York, NY May 8, 2012 – AMC Networks announced today the acquisition of all US rights to acclaimed filmmaker Walter Salles’ ON THE ROAD to be released jointly by the company’s film distribution labels IFC Films and Sundance Selects. Based on the iconic novel by Jack Kerouac, the film stars Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst and features performances by Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss and Viggo Mortensen. The screenplay is by Jose Rivera (Academy Award® nominee for THE MOTORCYLE DIARIES). The MK2 Production was produced by Nathanael Karmitz, Charles Gillibert, Rebecca Yeldham and Roman Coppola for American Zoetrope. Executive producer Francis Ford Coppola has been developing the project since 1978.

The World Premiere for ON THE ROAD is set for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in the Competition Section. A major theatrical release is planned for late Fall.

Josh Sapan, CEO and President of AMC Networks said of the film, “Walter Salles has made an ambitious and accomplished film out of Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel. It’s a classic road movie with career-making performances from Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley, and a terrific showcase for Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst. This exceptional piece of filmmaking is the cinematic equivalent to the ground-breaking original content that our company produces for its networks.”

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films said: "This is a major step forward for us, and we plan to work across AMC Networks in putting all our resources together to make this theatrical release into a significant cultural event. We will show the same passion in releasing this film as the team took behind producing it. We’re honored to be working with our friends Nathanael Karmitz and Charles Gillibert at MK2, Walter Salles, Rebecca Yeldham, Roman Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola."

Nathanael Karmitz (President-MK2) and Charles Gillibert (Producer-MK2) said: "ON THE ROAD" changed the lives of many people, it changed the life of MK2 and it will also have that affect on AMC Networks and its labels’ IFC Films and Sundance Selects. We had a lot of interest from US distributors but the combination of AMC Networks great promotional appeal with IFC Films and Sundance Selects’ experience in distribution is an innovative and ambitious way to bring ON THE ROAD great success in the US. We were also very touched by the passionate approach of Josh Sapan and Jonathan Sehring and by the enthusiasm of their team.”

This marks the fourth time that the two companies have collaborated following Olivier Assayas’ SUMMER HOURS, Abbas Kiarostami’s CERTIFIED COPY, Gus Van Sant’s PARANOID PARK and Assayas’ upcoming SOMETHING IN THE AIR.

ON THE ROAD tells the provocative story of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a young writer whose life is shaken and ultimately redefined by the arrival of Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), a free-spirited, fearless, fast talking Westerner, and his girl, Marylou (Kristen Stewart). Together, Sal and Dean travel cross-country in a quest for freedom from the conformity and conservatism engulfing them, in search of the unknown, themselves, and the pursuit of “it” — the pure essence of experience.

Seeking unchartered terrain and the last American frontier, the duo encounter an eclectic mix of men and women — Bull (Viggo Mortensen), Camille (Kirsten Dunst), Carlo (Tom Sturridge), Jane (Amy Adams), Terry (Alice Braga), and Galatéa (Elisabeth Moss) – each adding meaning to their desire for a new way of life.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Walter Salles is credited with helping Brazilian cinema return to international prominence in the late 1990s. His credits include THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES about the life of young Enresto Guevara who later became known as Che. The acclaimed film was a success at the box office and received Academy Award® nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jose Rivera and Best Song. Most recently he directed with Daniela Thomas the film LINHA DE PASSE, which won Sandra Corveloni the Best Actress at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. His first film to gain international attention was FOREIGN LAND followed by CENTRAL STATION, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale and was nominated for two Academy Awards® including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro. His followed up BEHIND THE SUN was nominated for Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language Film category. In 2003, Salles was voted one of the 40 Best Directors in the world by The Guardian.

The deal for ON THE ROAD was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with Bart Walker of Cinetic Media on behalf of the producers.

IFC Films and Sundance Selects are sister labels, owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

Established in 2009 and based in New York City, Sundance Selects is a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films focusing on American independents, documentaries and world cinema. In 2011, the label distributed the year’s 3 highest independently released documentaries including Werner Herzog’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (also the highest grossing film of his career), Cindy Meehl’s BUCK and Wim Wenders’ Academy Award (r) nominated PINA. The company also released the Dardennes Brothers THE KID WITH A BIKE which won the Grand Prix at Cannes and Abbas Kiarastami’s CERTIFIED COPY for which Juliette Binoche won the Best Actress at Cannes. Upcoming releases include:  Maiwenn’s POLISSE which won the Jury Prize in Cannes, David France’s HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, Adam Leon’s SXSW winner GIMME THE LOOT, Julia Loktev’s AFI winner THE LONELIEST PLANET, Alison Klayman’s Sundance Jury Prize winner AI WEIWEI:  NEVER SORRY and Olivier Assayas’ SOMETHING IN THE AIR. Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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, 3Weeks 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 Steve McQueen, Armando Iannucci, Andrea Arnold, Mia Hansen Love, Corneliu Porombiou, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, Daryl Wein and Abdellatif Kechiche. Upcoming releases include Lynn Shelton’s YOUR SISTER’S SISTER with Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt & Mark Duplass and Bruce Beresford’s PEACE LOVE AND MISUNDERSTANDING starring two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen and Michael Winterbottom’s TRISHNA starring Freida Pinto. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

About MK2
Since 1973, MK2 Productions has been supporting quality films for a global audience. Combining the demands of cinematic quality with commercial success, the company founded by Marin Karmitz has emerged over the years as a fixture label in the international landscape of independent film.

Over the past thirty years, MK2 has produced over 100 films, signed by directors from all over the world and won more than a hundred awards, from Cannes, Berlin, Venice, to Oscars, Golden Globes, Montreal, Sundance… Among them, masters of world cinema (Theo Angelopoulos, Michael Haneke, Abbas Kiarostami, Kieslowski Krzysztof, Alain Resnais, Gus Van Sant, etc.), and also new talents that MK2 helped discover (Fatih Akin, Xavier Dolan, Gela Babluani…). Since 2006, the pace of MK2 Productions has accelerated around the trio formed by producers Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz and Charles Gillibert. Among the most memorable motion pictures recently produced: 13 Tzameti by Gela Babluani (Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2006), Paranoid Park by Gus Van Sant (60th Anniversary Award at Cannes 2007), Summer Hours by Olivier Assayas (2009 NY, LA and National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Language Film), or Certified Copy by Abbas Kiarostami (Best Actress award for Juliette Binoche at Cannes 2010).

This year, three mk2 productions will be presented in the official selection at Cannes. On the Road by Walter Salles and Like Someone in Love by Abbas Kiarostami will be in competition, while Laurence Anyways [by Xavier Dolan] will compete in Un Certain Regard. In France, Mk2 also sells and distributes “After the Battle” by Yousry Nasrallah, in competition.

MK2 also owns and distribute a major catalogue with more than 500 international entries, sold to worldwide film distributors and TV channels. Among them, movies by Charlie Chaplin, François Truffaut, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Claude Chabrol, David Lynch…

In France, MK2 is the leading independent movie company, third in Paris in terms of movie theaters with 10 movie theaters in Paris, 60 movie screens and 5 million filmgoers per year.

Press Contacts

  • Michael Kupferberg,
    Strategy PR/Consulting,