The film -- an autobiographically inspired gay relationship drama -- debuted in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and then went on to win the Teddy Award at the Berlinale last month. It will have its New York premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
"Taking the emphasis off individual perspectives, Sachs skillfully explores dangerous extremes--not only drug addiction, but the slipperiness of attraction, both to other people and oneself," Eric Kohn wrote in his Indiewire review.
Full press release below.
New York, NY (March 12, 2012) – Music Box Films announced today that the company is acquiring all North American rights to KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, the latest film from Ira Sachs. The film premiered to critical acclaim at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Subsequently, at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, it received the Teddy Award, the prize for the best film with an LGBT theme.
In his autobiographically inspired, fictional relationship drama KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, filmmaker - and recipient of Sundance's Grand Jury Prize in 2005 for his film FORTY SHADES OF BLUE - Ira Sachs chronicles the emotionally and sexually charged journey through the love, addiction, and friendship of two men (portrayed by Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth). The film was produced by Sachs, Marie ThereseGuirgis, and Lucas Joaquin, and the stellar supporting cast includes Julianne Nicholson (HBO's "Boardwalk Empire"), Souléymane Sy Savané (GOODBYE SOLO) and Paprika Steen (APPLAUSE). The film will screen at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival next month.
Written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON is an honest, unflinching portrait of a relationship between two men in New York City. Despite meeting through a casual sexual encounter, documentary filmmaker Erik (Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Booth) find a deeper connection and become bonded in an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows and dysfunctional patterns. Through it all, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity and to be true to himself.
Ed Arentz, Managing Director of Music Box Films, said: "We've been fans of Ira Sachs since THE DELTA so its a special treat to be able to present his latest film. Ira gets the big, little and difficult things right in KEEP THE LIGHTS ON: the thrill and evanescence of desire, the endurance of love, the unknowableness of others and the sense of time going by. His homage to legendary New York photographer and filmmaker James Bidgood is an added bonus."
Noted Sachs: "Music Box has proven itself in a few short years to be a cutting edge distributor with a sophisticated understanding of both the market and cinema. Ed and Bill have a keen eye for films that have a potential to breakout from the independent landscape, and I'm excited by their ambition and excitement for Keep the Lights On."
The deal for the film was negotiated by Marie Therese Guirgis (Producer of Keep the Lights On) and Kevin Iwashina (Preferred Content), with William Schopf, president of Music Box Films.