By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 28, 2011 at 2:43AM
IFC Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions have partnered to acquire North American rights to George Ratliff's religious comedy "Salvation Boulevard," which had its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival earlier this week in the Premieres section.
"George Ratliff takes a big leap forward with this film which, aside from featuring a powerhouse cast in Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Jim Gaffigan and Jennifer Connelly, is a clever and sharp comedy that delivers," said Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films.
Cathy Schulman, President, Mandalay Pictures and "Salvation Boulevard" producer added, "This unique alliance between IFC Films and Sony will enable 'Salvation Boulevard' to take advantage of the most cutting edge distribution strategies. Mandalay strives to realize the vision of each of our filmmakers, and this distribution partnership will further that goal."
FC FILMS AND SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE ACQUISITIONS JOIN TO TAKE NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO GEORGE RATLIFF’S SALVATION BOULEVARD
Park City, UT (January 27, 2011) – IFC Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced today from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival that the companies are partnering to acquire North American rights to George Ratliff’s SALVATION BOULEVARD, which premiered this week in the festival’s Premieres section. The film, with a screenplay by Ratliff (whose previous films include Hell House and Joshua) and Doug Max Stone, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart, stars Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Jim Gaffigan and Marisa Tomei. The film, a Mandalay Vision production of a Mandalay Pictures film, was produced by Cathy Schulman, Celine Rattray and Peter Fruchtman, and will be released theatrically via IFC Films.
In the film, Pastor Dan (Brosnan) is a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl (Kinnear) is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The megachurch is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence. The road to hell—in this case, SALVATION BOULEVARD—is paved with good intentions—gone hysterically wrong.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “George Ratliff takes a big leap forward with this film which, aside from featuring a powerhouse cast in Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Jim Gaffigan and Jennifer Connelly, is a clever and sharp comedy that delivers.”
"This unique alliance between IFC Films and Sony will enable SALVATION BOULEVARD to take advantage of the most cutting edge distribution strategies. Mandalay strives to realize the vision of each of our filmmakers, and this distribution partnership will further that goal," says Cathy Schulman, President, Mandalay Pictures and SALVATION BOULEVARD producer.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films and Betsy Rodgers, Vice President of Business and Legal Afffairs for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Scott Shooman, SPWA Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions, and Michael Helfand, SPWA SVP of Business Affairs, and Rena Ronson and Richard Klubeck at UTA on behalf of the filmmakers.
Ratliff grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and went to film school at the University of Texas in Austin. His first feature film, Plutonium Circus (1995), a documentary about the extremely secretive Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant in Amarillo, won the award for best feature documentary at the SXSW Film Festival and started his career. His next documentary, Hell House (2001), tracked a megachurch’s annual Halloween ritual of staging a haunted house to scare kids into Christianity. His thriller Joshua screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released through Fox Searchlight. Ratliff lives with his wife and three sons in Santa Monica.