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August 31, 2011 6:21 AM
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Phase 4 and Submarine Go for James Westby's Dark Comedy "Rid of Me"

James Westby's "Rid of Me." Phase 4 Films.

Phase 4 Films has acquired North American rights to James Westby's black comedy "Rid of Me." In partnership with Submarine, the company plans to give the film an initial limited theatrical release this fall, followed by a national rollout.

"Rid of Me" follows Meris (Katie O'Grady), a newlywed who moves to Portland with her husband. Rejected by his old high school clique, she goes into a radical personal evolution.

The comedy world premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Founder's Prize for Best U.S. Fiction Film at the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival.

Full release below:

PHASE 4 FILMS ACQUIRES U.S. AND CANADIAN RIGHTS TO JAMES WESTBY’S RID OF ME

SUBMARINE TO PARTNER ON A FALL THEATRICAL RELEASE

Los Angeles, CA (August 31, 2011) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to director James Westby’s black comedy RID OF ME. Phase 4 will partner with Submarine on an aggressive theatrical run this fall. Westby (Film Geek, The Auteur), who wrote and edited the film, also produced it along with Katie O’Grady via her Alcove Productions banner. Phase 4 will begin with a limited release this Fall and then expand around the country.

Set in Portland, Oregon, RID OF ME is a black comedy that follows Meris (O’Grady), an awkward young woman trying too hard to perfect her marriage, amongst a new group of friends. With a breakthrough lead performance by O'Grady, and an ensemble that includes Art Alexakis (of rock band Everclear) and Theresa Russell (Black Widow, Bad Timing), RID OF ME follows Meris’ rejection from the cool crowd down a path towards truth and salvation which includes a job at a local candy shop, a group of punk friends, community gardening and a newfound love for Cambodian rock music.

“After screening RID OF ME at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, we at Phase 4 were blown away by the film’s sharp wit and offbeat originality,” said Meyerowitz. “Katie O’Grady is a true discovery that will undoubtedly have audiences and industry insiders buzzing. That, combined with James Westby’s unique, insightful direction and a terrific ensemble cast, make this a film that we are all very excited to share.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Phase 4 and Submarine” said O’Grady. “This film is so incredibly important to both James and myself, and we’re delighted to have partners in Phase 4 and Submarine that are as passionate and dedicated to the project as we are. We’ve had an amazing experience showing it to audiences across the country at festivals and can’t wait for more people to have the chance to discover it.”

The deal was negotiated by Larry Greenberg, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for Phase 4 Films and Josh Braun at Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

RID OF ME has its world premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and recently was the recipient of the Founder’s Prize for Best US Fiction Film at the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival.

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