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by Jay A. Fernandez
May 16, 2012 10:10 AM
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Music Box Films Picks Up Rights to SXSW 2012 Drama 'Starlet'

Music Box Films has acquired all North American rights to Sean Baker’s “Starlet,” which had its premiere in competition at the SXSW Film Festival in March. The indie distributor plans a fall theatrical release.

“Starlet” stars Dree Hemingway as a young adult-film actress who befriends an octogenarian after they have a confrontation at a yard sale and she finds a stash of money in an antique. Besedka Johnson, the 85-year old actress who plays the elderly woman, was given a special prize at SXSW for her performance.

“Although we didn’t make the connections until after we saw ‘Starlet,’ we’ve enjoyed everything Sean Baker has done from ‘Greg the Bunny’ through ‘Prince of Broadway,’ so in retrospect it’s not surprising we fell for ‘Starlet’,” said Music Box managing director Ed Arentz. “As we branch out into American independent releases it’s exciting to be presenting one of its best young exemplars.”

Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Francesca Silvestri, Patrick Cunningham and Chris Maybach produced the film. Ted Hope, Shih-Ching Tsou, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim, Giancarlo Canavesio and Sol Tryon served as executive producers.

Submarine’s Josh Braun negotiated the deal with Music Box president William Schopf.

Music Box recently released “Tell No One,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Deep Blue Sea” and “Monsieur Lazhar.” Upcoming releases include “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” and “Keep the Lights On.”

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