By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire June 29, 2009 at 1:33AM
Xavier Dolan's "I Killed My Mother" (J'ai tue ma mere), which swept three of the four prizes in the Cannes Directors' Fortnight this year, is coming to the United States. The film is among the newly announed titles that have been acquired by the re-branded Here Films (formerly known as Regent Releasing). Here has also acquired U.S. rights to Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic Flute" and North American rights to Asghar Farhadi's Berlin Silver Bear winner "About Elly" (Darbareye Elly).
All three films will be released in select U.S. theaters, on DVD and via here! Networks next year, the company said this morning in an announcement.
The move is aimed at underscoring an expansion of the scope of the company, key staffers recently told indieWIRE. While Regent Releasing had a core focus on films for gay and lesbian audiences, they had begun to broaden their focus with an increase in foreign language films, including the recent release of foreign language Oscar winner, "Departures." Today's announcement continues that shift.
Here is planning to release 8-12 films per year and will pursue multi-platforms, as is being done by companies such as IFC Films and Magnolia Pictures.
"This launch marks an important evolution for us as a company and a distributor by allowing us to effectively utilize all our brands and maximize our cross-platform distribution capabilities to bring award-winning world cinema with universal appeal to U.S. audiences across multiple platforms," said Paul Colichman and Stephen P. Jarchow, CEO and Chairman of parent company Here Media, in a statement.
The leadership team of Here includes top executives from Regent: Mark Reinhart, EVP of Distribution and Acquisitions, John Lambert, SVP of Theatrical Distribution, Liz Mackiewicz, SVP of Sales and Distribution and Jonathon Aubry, VP of Marketing and Distribution.
Xavier Dolan's French Canadian film "I Killed My Mother" is the semi-autobiographical story from the twenty-year old director's feature directing debut. It stars Dolan, Anne Dorval, Suzanne Cle’mont, Francois Arnaud and Monique Spaziani. The film is described by the company as focusing on, "a sixteen-year old boy from Montreal who has a complicated love/hate relationship with his mother. He drifts through the mysteries of an adolescence of artistic discoveries, illicit experiences, friendship, sex and ostracism." The deal was brokered by international sales agent REZO in the wake of this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Kenneth Branagh's "The Magic Flute," an adaptation of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute," was co-written by Branagh and Stephen Fry. Fry did the English libretto translation for the movie. The film feature's musical director James Conlon conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for the film, and stars Joseph Kaiser, Amy Carson, Benjamin Jay Davis, Silvia Moi, Rene Pape and Lyubov Petrova. The movie takes place, in the words of an announcement, "on the eve of World War I and unfolds as a young soldier waiting for the command to go to battle is transported into a twilight world between a dream and nightmare. He is sent on a deadly mission to rescue the daughter of the Queen of the Night from the dark lord Sarastro." The company made the deal with Celluloid Dreams.
Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly," from Iran, is described as the story of, "a group of middle-class Iranians who drive to the shores of the Caspian Sea for a short break from Tehran." It stars Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani and the deal was brokered with Dreamlab.
The rebranding of Here Films comes amidst a brand consolidation at the company, which recently completed the business combination of Here Networks LLC and its publishing affiliate, which includes leading LGBT publications. The divisions at the company include film studio Here Studios, distribution company Here Films, TV network here! Networks, publishing oulets Out, Advocate, HIV Plus, and Alyson Books, as well as online properties Gay.com, Planetout.com, Advocate.com, Out.com and SheWired.com.
-- the complete press release is posted on page two --
Here Films Officially Launches and Announces New 2010 Slate
Cannes Directors' Fortnight Winner, Berlin Silver Bear Winner and Made for Cinema Opera Among Acquired Titles Under New Film Division of Here Media
LOS ANGELES, CA -- June 29, 2009 -- Here Media announced today the launch of Here Films, the new acquisition and distribution division of Here Media, Inc. All current staff of Regent Releasing will be folded into the newly formed parent company Here Media effective immediately. Here Films staff will oversee all remaining Regent releases through 2009 with all new films being released through the Here Films banner. Here Films recently acquired several high profile films including Cannes Directors' Fortnight winner "I Killed My Mother" (J'ai tué ma mère), Berlin Silver Bear Winner "About Elly" (Darbareye Elly), and the Kenneth Branagh made for cinema opera "The Magic Flute." Here Films will distribute all these pictures in select U.S. theaters, on DVD and via here! Networks in 2010.
"This launch marks an important evolution for us as a company and a distributor by allowing us to effectively utilize all our brands and maximize our cross-platform distribution capabilities to bring award-winning world cinema with universal appeal to U.S. audiences across multiple platforms," said Paul Colichman and Stephen P. Jarchow, CEO and Chairman of parent company Here Media.
Mark Reinhart, EVP, Distribution and Acquisitions will continue to lead the Here Films distribution team with staffers John Lambert, SVP, Theatrical Distribution, Liz Mackiewicz, SVP, Sales and Distribution and Jonathon Aubry, VP, Marketing and Distribution reporting to him directly.
Here Films will release 8-12 films a year with the following films among its newest acquisitions:
"I Killed My Mother" (J'ai tué ma mère)
Here Media has acquired U.S. distribution rights from international sales agent REZO. "I Killed My Mother" ("J'ai tué ma mère") was written, produced and directed by 20-year old Xavier Dolan making his feature film directorial debut. The film swept the 41st Directors' Fortnight section at this year's Cannes Film Festival collecting 3 of the 4 main awards including the Prix Regards Jeunes 2009, the Art Cinema Award, and the SACD Prize. The film stars Xavier Dolan, Anne Dorval ("Le Coeur a Ses Raisons"), Suzanne Cle'mont ("L'audition"), Francois Arnaud and Monique Spaziani ("Les Portes Tournantes").
A semi-autobiographical story from filmmaker and star Xavier Dolan, "I Killed My Mother," focuses on a sixteen-year old boy from Montreal who has a complicated love/hate relationship with his mother. He drifts through the mysteries of an adolescence of artistic discoveries, illicit experiences, friendship, sex and ostracism.
"The Magic Flute"
Here Media has acquired U.S. distribution rights from Celluloid Dreams for "The Magic Flute," an English language made-for-cinema film adaptation of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" co-written and directed by acclaimed director/actor, Kenneth Branagh. Stephen Fry co-wrote the film with Branagh and did the English libretto translation. As a writer, director and actor Branagh claimed three Academy Award® nominations for his work on the 1990 "Henry V" and the 1997 "Hamlet." "The Magic Flute" was produced by Pierre-Olivier Bardet and executive produced by the Peter Moores Foundation, which encourages the creation of new work and strives to attract new audiences to opera. Acclaimed musical director James Conlon, who was awarded France's Legion d'Honneur in 2001, conducted the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for the film. "The Magic Flute" stars Joseph Kaiser (Tamino), Amy Carson (Pamina), Benjamin Jay Davis (Papageno), Silvia Moi (Papagena), Rene Pape (Sarastro) and Lyubov Petrova (Queen of the Night).
"The Magic Flute" takes place on the eve of World War I and unfolds as a young soldier waiting for the command to go to battle is transported into a twilight world between a dream and nightmare. He is sent on a deadly mission to rescue the daughter of the Queen of the Night from the dark lord Sarastro.
"About Elly" (Darbareye Elly)
Here Media has acquired North American distribution rights from Dreamlab to "About Elly" (Darbareye Elly), directed by Asghar Farhadi and starring Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as Sepideh. "About Elly" centers around a group of middle-class Iranians who drive to the shores of the Caspian Sea for a short break from Tehran. The film has won numerous festival awards including the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 59th Berlin Film Festival, the Best Narrative Feature at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and the Crystal Symorgh for best directing at the 27th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran.
"I Killed My Mother," "The Magic Flute" and "About Elly" mark significant additions to an impressive slate of first-rate and thought-provoking world cinema Here Media and its affiliates have acquired in recent months. Current and upcoming releases from Here Films and Regent Releasing include the Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign Language Film, "Departures," the Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury prize winner "Tokyo Sonata," Iran's Official entry for the 81st Academy Awards®, "The Song of Sparrows," two-time Annie Award nominee, "$9.99," "Little Ashes," which focuses on the romance between Salvador Dali and Federico García Lorca starring Robert Pattinson ("Twilight") and Javier Beltrán, 2009 Sundance entry "Zion and His Brother" and 2009 Berlin entry "El Nino Pez."
Mark Reinhart, EVP Distribution and Acquisitions for Here Media negotiated the acquisition deals for all three films.
For more information about upcoming releases, please visit http://www.regentreleasing.com.
About Here Media
Here Media, Inc. produces and distributes niche content across all platforms worldwide. Here Media's iconic brands distribute gay media and world cinema programming with universal, humanistic appeal. Its distribution platforms include theaters, television, VOD, broadband, online, print and mobile. It earns subscription, advertising and licensing revenue from its award-winning content.
Here Media owns and operates a variety of media assets including:
· Here Studios, a full service motion picture studio.
· Here Films, a motion picture distribution company.
· here! Networks, a premium television network featuring programming that appeals to a gay and lesbian audience airing in 96 of the top 100 US markets, including every top 10 market.
· Iconic print brands including Out, Advocate and HIV Plus, as well as Alyson Books.
· Online properties including Gay.com, Planetout.com, Advocate.com, Out.com and SheWired.com which provide broadband video and social networking.
Paul Colichman is Chief Executive Officer of Here Media and Stephen P. Jarchow is Chairman. Together, they have produced and/or distributed over 200 motion pictures including Academy Award® winners "Gods and Monsters" and "Departures".
About Here Films
Here Films, the acquisition and distribution division of Here Media, Inc., is dedicated to showcasing quality independent films; distributing powerful and thought-provoking world cinema; and nurturing innovative, emerging filmmakers.
Here Films releases 8-12 films per year, which include co-productions and acquired titles. Recent and upcoming releases include Academy Award® winner "Departures," the historical dramas "The Little Traitor" starring Alfred Molina and "Eichmann" starring Thomas Kretschmann, award-winning comedy "Patrik, Age 1.5," Cannes Fortnight winner "I Killed My Mother," Kenneth Branagh's made for cinema opera "The Magic Flute," Berlin Silver Bear winner "About Elly," 2009 Sundance entry "Zion and His Brother, "2009 Berlin entry "El Nino Pez."