By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire September 18, 2006 at 4:00AM
In a deal that marks a shift in strategy for the company, last week in Toronto IFC Films negotiated a preemptive North American pact for John Dahl's new film, "You Kill Me." Currently in post-production, the mob comedy will be released nationwide next year and stars Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni and Luke Wilson. Following the recent launch of its IFC First Take label for smaller movies, IFC Films is evolving into a label for releasing a smaller number of higher profile films each annually, probably 4 - 6 movies per year.
"This is a film with enormous commercial potential," said IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring, in a statement. "It is a big movie with a great cast and this acquisition signifies an aggressive new direction for IFC Films."
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the film is, in the words of an announcement, "The story of Frank, a hit-man from Buffalo (Kingsley) whose drinking is getting in the way of his killing. He's sent to the west coast to dry out where he lands a job at a mortuary and meets Laurel (Tea Leoni), smart-talking and dangerously devoid of boundaries."
Sehring and lawyer John Sloss negotiated the deal with ICM and Endeavor representing the film and Jonathan Dana representing the producers, with lawyer Mark Halloran. "You Kill Me" was financed by Code Entertainment and produced with Kingsley's BiPolar Productions, Carol Baum, Inc., and Mike Marcus' Echo Lake Productions. It also stars Dennis Farina, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman, and Marcus Thomas.
Tea Leoni and Jonathan Dana are Executive Producers, while Code's Al Corley, Bart Rosenblatt and Eugene Musso produced with Carol Baum, Mike Marcus, and Zvi Howard Rosenman. International sales for the film are being handled by Capitol Films.
IFC Entertainment recently launched its IFC First Take day-and-date distribution brand for indie and foreign language films, paving the way for the shift. The company acquired both "...So Goes The Nation" and "Requiem" from the Toronto lineup for the label.
"IFC Films is in the position to acquire and release movies of a much larger scale," said IFC's Sehring, in a statement. "'You Kill Me' is hugely appealing and exactly what we've been looking for over the past several months to launch us in this new direction."