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Sundance Selects Walks Away With Jonathan Caouette's "Renee"

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 19, 2011 at 7:48AM

Jonathan Caouette's documentary "Walk Away Renee" has been acquired for North American release by Sundance Selects, it was announced today. The film - which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival's Critics Week - continues the story Caouette began with his award winning documentary "Tarnation" by following the director and his mentally ill mother on a road trip across the country. Caouette is currently spending the summer finishing the film, the final version of which "will have a premiere at a major upcoming festival."
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Jonathan Caouette's "Walk Away Renée."

Jonathan Caouette's documentary "Walk Away Renee" has been acquired for North American release by Sundance Selects, it was announced today. The film - which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival's Critics Week - continues the story Caouette began with his award winning documentary "Tarnation" by following the director and his mentally ill mother on a road trip across the country. Caouette is currently spending the summer finishing the film, the final version of which "will have a premiere at a major upcoming festival."

Oddly enough, "Tarnation" is screening this Wednesday, July 20th as part of indieWIRE's 15th anniversary series at the 92YTribeca. Caouette will be in attendance. For tickets and more information click here.

Full press release below.

New York, NY (July 19, 2011) – Sundance Selects announced today that the company is acquiring all North American rights to director Jonathan Caouette’s documentary WALK AWAY RENEE from Wild Bunch. The film continues the story Caouette began with his award winning, ground breaking documentary TARNATION. Caouette once again appears with his mother Renee LeBlanc, Aldolph Davis, David Sanin Paz, Joshua Caouette, and Rosemary David. Caouette, Gerard Lacroix, and Pierre-Paul Puljiz produced and Catherine Rouault executive produced the project. WALK AWAY RENEE premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival's Critics Week, where it screened as a work-in-progress. Caouette is currently spending the summer finishing the film, the final version of which will have a premiere at a major upcoming festival.

In the film, Caouette embarks on a road trip to move his mentally ill mother Renee across the country. As they encounter roadblocks in the present, we begin to flash back to moments from the past, giving us insight into this anything-but-ordinary mother/son relationship. Through musical montage, psychedelic sequences and real and imagined circumstance, WALK AWAY RENEE raises questions about love, sacrifice, and the reality in which we live.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "We were deeply moved by Jonathan Caouette's WALK AWAY RENEE which continues to document not only his relationship with his mother Renee LeBlanc but also shows him making great strides as a filmmaker. We're thrilled to be in business with him and continue our relationship with Agnes B’s Love Streams and Wild Bunch."

Noted Caouette: “I'm really looking forward to working with Sundance Selects on the release of WALK AWAY RENEE. It's also very nice to be working with key people who worked on TARNATION. The film screened at this years Cannes and is being re edited into another version that will include more backstory and texture than the Cannes version."

The deal for WALK AWAY RENEE was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions, and Betsy Rodgers, Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Carole Baraton of Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.

WALK AWAY RENEE is the follow-up to Caouette's festival hit TARNATION, which won the National Society of Film Critics Best Documentary and topped many top 10 lists in 2003. TARNATION will screen in New York on Wednesday, July 20th at 7:30pm at 92Y Tribeca as part of indieWIRE's 15th anniversary celebration. Jonathan Caouette will do a Q & A and also screen a few scenes from WALK AWAY RENEE.

Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks, Inc.

This article is related to: Acquisitions, Walk Away Renée