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Screen Media Acquires ‘American Animal’

Screen Media Acquires 'American Animal'

Screen Media has announced its acquisition of the US theatrical and home entertainment rights to Matt D'Elia's "American Animal." The film – which debuted at SXSW Film Festival & Conference last year – will be released theatrically in March.

Full press release below.

New York (NY) (January 5, 2012) – Screen Media, one of the leading American distributors of independent films, announced today it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to AMERICAN ANIMAL, a film that premiered in competition at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival & Conference written, directed by and starring Matt D'Elia.  A wild and personal existential comedy, AMERICAN ANIMAL centers on an eccentric and terminally ill young man who descends into madness when he finds out that his best friend and roommate is leaving for a new job in the morning.

D'Elia, a graduate of NYU's film program, also stars in the film which was shot on a microbudget in his downtown Los Angeles apartment.  The supporting cast of AMERICAN ANIMAL features an impressive array of up-and-coming actors including Brendan Fletcher (HBO's "The Pacific"), Mircea Monroe (Showtime's "Episodes") and Angela Sarafyan (THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN Part II")

AMERICAN ANIMAL takes viewers on a unique and intense journey of self-discovery as it acerbically and humorously examines themes of friendship, madness, sex and death. When Jimmy (D'Elia) finds out his best friend and roommate (Fletcher) is leaving, he sees this as a betrayal of their perfect way of life.  Over the course of a night full of drinks, drugs and women, the two men engage in a classic battle of wills as James prepares to enter the real world and Jimmy falls deeper and deeper into his world of isolation and make-believe.

At its SXSW premiere AMERICAN ANIMAL was embraced by critics and audiences alike.   Drew McWeeney from HitFix called it "intense, outrageous, larger than life…AMERICAN ANIMAL deserves to be seen, but more than that, it deserves to launch D'Elia as a filmmaker of note." The film went on to play at other prominent film festivals including Gen Art, Starz Denver, Napa Valley, Little Rock and New Hampshire.

The deal for AMERICAN ANIMAL was negotiated by Suzanne Blech on behalf of Screen Media with Asher Goldstein and Maren Olsen at Traction Media.

Suzanne Blech, President of Screen Media said, "AMERICAN ANIMAL is one of the more striking directorial debuts of 2011 and we are very excited to be working with Matt to bring it to audiences across the U.S."

Matt D'Elia said, ""We're beyond happy to be working with Screen Media on the release of AMERICAN ANIMAL. From writing the script to premiering at SXSW, we've gone with passion first, everything else second. Screen Media stepped up and showed how much they loved the film, and that was all we needed. We are thrilled to give them the reigns to take this crazy little film to the next level: a wider audience."

Screen Media will release AMERICAN ANIMAL theatrically in March 2012.

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About Screen Media Screen Media Films acquires the rights to high quality, independent feature films for the US and Canada.  Screen Media's theatrical releases include Jig, The Irish Dance Documentary; John Gray's "White Irish Drinkers" starring Stephen Lang; James Ivory's "The City of Your Final Destination," starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney; "Lymelife" and "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" starring Robin Wright and Keanu Reeves. Since 2001, Screen Media has released more than 250 titles including "Noel," starring Penelope Cruz and Susan Sarandon; "Sherrybaby," starring Maggie Gyllenhaal; Kevin Bacon's directorial debut, "Loverboy; and Emmy nominated "Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Millan.  Screen Media Films is a wholly owned division of Screen Media Ventures, LLC.  With a library of over 1000 motion pictures, Screen Media Ventures is one of the largest independent suppliers of high quality motion pictures to U.S. and international broadcast markets, cable networks, home video outlets and new media venues. For more information, visit

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Best wishes to Matt D'Elia and for the success of the film. I look forward to seeing it!

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