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by Brian Brooks
June 9, 2011 3:53 AM
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Rights to "Shut Up Little Man!" Go to Tribeca Film

U.S. rights to writer-director Matthew Bate's "Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure" have been picked up by Tribeca Film. The distribution wing of Tribeca Enterprises, the group plans to release the film nationwide on VOD beginning August 25 and theatrically with an expansion planned for September 9. The documentary premiered in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has played in New Directors/New Films and the True/False Film Festival.

Full release about the acquisition follows:

Tribeca Film announced today that it has acquired select US distribution rights, including VOD, theatrical, digital, DVD and festival, to Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure from Closer Productions, written and directed by Matthew Bate and produced by Bate and Sophie Hyde. Shut Up Little Man! will be released nationwide on VOD August 25, 2011, and theatrically the same day (expanding on September 9), by Tribeca Film, a comprehensive distribution label operated by Tribeca Enterprises. The documentary premiered in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has played in New Directors/New Films and the True/False Film Festival.

Tribeca Film, supported by Founding Partner American Express, brings films to consumers across a range of platforms, including nationwide VOD, theatrical, DVD, pay-TV and digital.

In 1987, Eddie and Mitch, two young punks from the Midwest, moved into a low-rent tenament apartment in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco. Through paper-thin walls, they were informally introduced to their middle-aged alcoholic neighbors, the most unlikely of roommates—Raymond Huffman, a raging homophobe, and Peter Haskett, a flamboyant gay man. Night after night, the boys were treated to a seemingly endless stream of vodka-fueled altercations between the two and for 18 months, they hung a microphone from their kitchen window to chronicle the bizarre and violent relationship between their insane neighbors. Oftentimes nonsensical and always vitriolic, the diatribes of Peter and Ray were an audio goldmine just begging to be recorded and passed around on the underground tape market. Their tapes went on to inspire a cult following, spawning sell-out CD’s, comic artworks by Dan Clowes (Ghostworld), stage-plays, music from the likes of Devo and a Hollywood feeding Frenzy.

“We are delighted to be releasing the film with Tribeca Film,” said director Matthew Bate. “It’s a great underground American story and we are particularly thrilled to see it in the hands of people who will love and nurture its life in cinemas and on the small screen.”

“Shut Up Little Man! is a darkly comic documentary examining the blurred boundaries between art and exploitation,” said Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “The film depicts how counter-cultural phenomena spread in the pre-digital age, and we are looking forward to sharing it with audiences.”

Shut Up Little Man! is executive produced by Stephen Cleary and Julie Ryan and co-produced by Julie Byrne and Bryan Mason. The music is composed by Jonny Elk Walsh, animation is by Raynor Pettge, with cinematography and editing by Bryan Mason. Shut Up Little Man! is the first film to be released from the South Australian Film Corporation's FILMLAB program with investment by the Adelaide Film Festival.

The US distribution deal was negotiated by Nick Savva, Director of Acquisitions for Tribeca Film with Josh Braun and David Koh of Submarine Entertainment and Orly Ravid of The Film Collaborative on behalf of the producers and director.

About Tribeca Film:
Tribeca Film is a comprehensive distribution label dedicated to acquiring and marketing independent films across multiple platforms, including theatrical, video-on-demand, digital, home video and television. It is an initiative from Tribeca Enterprises designed to provide new platforms for how film can be experienced, while supporting filmmakers and introducing audiences to films they might not otherwise see.

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