After 43 Weeks in Michigan, A Plan to Take "Uncle Nino" to Theaters Across the Country
by Eugene Hernandez
After playing for 43 weeks in a Grand Rapids, MI theater, Robert Shallcross' "Uncle Nino" has secured a deal to bring it to movie theaters around the country. The film, starring Joe Mantegna and Anne Archer as suburban parents who are visited by an eccentric uncle from Italy, has been acquired by John Lange's Lange Film Releasing for a large release early next year.
Shallcross' family comedy has been playing since December in Grand Rapids as a test release and Lange, based in Chicago, intends to take the film to 300 screens in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Providence and Tampa-St. Petersburg on February 11, 2005. He plans to expand to 10 more markets two weeks later.
"I know personally just what a film like 'Uncle Nino' can do when given the right mix of audience enthusiasm and exhibitor support," said Lange in making the announcement, referring to his work with Bob Berney and Newmarket on such releases as "Memento," "Whale Rider," "Monster," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "The Passion of the Christ," "The last time we had a film run for 43 weeks it was 'Greek Wedding,' and that's really exciting."
"Uncle Nino," produced by David James from Chicago's Kick The Can Productions, is described by Lange Film Releasing as the story of a "comically eccentric, the sometimes bumbling avuncular character ultimately succeeds in bringing his modern extended family together. One year ago, the film won the Crystal Heart Award later screening at the IFP Filmmakers Conference in Chicago and winning the audience prize at the Marco Island Film Festival.
Profiled in an indieWIRE article about regional distribution six months ago, Lange has also handled the local release of Jeff Daniels' "Escanaba in da Moonlight," grossing more than $2 million in Michigan, as well as Chris Boebel's "Red Betsy."