By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 5, 2011 at 10:8AM
In the first major acquisition to come out of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Jim Kohlberg's Opening-Night gala film, "The Music Never Stopped," has been acquired by Roadside Attractions. Based on the case-study essay "The Last Hippie" by Dr. Oliver Sacks (responsible for the essay that inspired "Awakenings"), the film stars J.K. Simmons ("Juno"), Lou Taylor Pucci ("Thumbsucker"), Cara Seymour ("An Education") and Julia Ormond ("Legends of the Fall").
Kohlberg's drama, penned by Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks, tells the real-life story of a father (Simmons) struggling to adjust to his estranged son's (Pucci) cerebral trauma. Through the aid of a music therapist (Ormond) who opens his ears to the songs that animate his son's soul, he begins to form a bond with the child he thought he had lost.
"We were really moved by such a soulful, true story of a father and son changing their lives through their love of music," said Roadside Co-President Howard Cohen of the film. "And you can't beat The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash music in this film!"
Kohlberg added, "I am thrilled to be working with Roadside Attractions to distribute 'The Music Never Stopped' because of their great record with independent films,” said director Kohlberg. “I always connected deeply to the story and the redemptive qualities of the characters and the iconic music. It was an honor to work with our great and talented cast and crew, and for my first feature could not have imagined a better result and recognition of the film's quality."
The deal was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Peter Newman, Greg Johnson and attorney Jonathan Gray, and on behalf of Roadside Attractions by Cohen and attorney Greg Bernstein.