Cowboy Pictures Acquires Slamdance Winner “Assisted Living”
by Claiborne Smith
Cowboy Pictures announced yesterday that it acquired first-time director Elliot Greenebaum’s “Assisted Living,” a comedy set in a nursing home. The movie won the grand jury prize at Slamdance as well as both the jury prize and audience award for best film at the 2003 GenArt Film Festival. The deal was brokered by Andrew Herwitz and Jared Moshe of the Film Sales Company. Cowboy plans a February 2004 release.
“Assisted Living” depicts a day in the life of Todd (Michael Bonsignore), the stoner janitor at a nursing home who talks with the residents to relieve his boredom. After he forms an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Pearlman (Maggie Riley), who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, Todd has to decide whether to go along with Mrs. Pearlman’s delusion that Todd is her son.
“Elliot Greenebaum has constructed a story that handles serious life issues in a very powerful way,” Cowboy co-president John Vanco said in a prepared statement. “He has somehow created a film that is irreverent while being dignified, and hilariously entertaining while being deeply emotional. It’s a film that will speak to many different audiences.”
“I grew up in Kentucky and went home to make this film because it’s hard to find a supportive non-evil place to shoot in New York,” the director, who shot the film in an actual nursing home in Kentucky, says on the film’s website. “In places outside of New York, there’s still a real sense that film is this magical thing that is great to be around and that it can make people happy.”