By Brian Brooks | Indiewire September 14, 2011 at 7:50AM
North American rights to Abel Ferrara's "4:44 Last Day on Earth" have been picked up by IFC Films. Starring Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, and Natasha Lyonne, the film debuted earlier this month in Venice and is set to have its Stateside premiere at the upcoming New York Film Festival.
Full acquisition release follows:
IFC Films announced today from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Abel Ferrara’s 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH. The film, with a screenplay also by Ferrara, stars Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, and Natasha Lyonne and was produced by Fabula, Funny Balloons, and Wild Bunch. The film premiered earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival and is also set to screen at the upcoming New York Film Festival.
How would we spend our final hours on Earth? And what does how we choose to die say about how we have chosen to live? In the hands of the inimitable Ferrara, 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH is a thought experiment that takes on a visceral immediacy. With the planet on the verge of extinction, a New York couple (Dafoe and Leigh) cycle through moments of anxiety, ecstasy, and torpor. As they sink into the havens of sex and art, and Skype last goodbyes in a Lower East Side apartment filled with screens bearing tidings of doom and salvation, the film becomes one of Ferrara’s most potent and intimate expressions of spiritual crisis. An apocalyptic trance film, 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH is also a mournful valentine to Ferrara’s beloved New York: the director’s first fiction feature to be filmed entirely in the city in over a decade, and coming 10 years after the September 11 attacks, a haunting vision of doom in the lower Manhattan skyline (NYFF Catalog.)
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "Abel Ferrara is not only a friend but also one of the filmmakers we've wanted towork with most. With 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH, he has made one of his best and most personal films and after 10 years, New York City has one of its most iconic filmmakers back. We're thrilled to be in business with him, Wild Bunch and his wonderful cast led by Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh."
The deal for 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Carole Baraton at Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Films is a sister division to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks, Inc.