Wellspring Fires up "Dear Wendy" for the U.S.
by Brian Brooks
Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier's feature commentary on America's gun culture, "Dear Wendy," has been acquired by New York-based Wellspring, the company announced Thursday. Marie Therese Guirgis, Wellspring's head of acquisitions negotiated the deal with Peter Aalbaek Jensen of Trust Film Sales. The distributor plans an early autumn release.
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg ("The Celebration") and written by Lars Von Trier ("Dogville") and starring Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot"), Bill Pullman ("Independence Day") and Mark Webber ("Storytelling"), the film is the story of a young loner named Dick who discovers a handgun and finds himself strangely drawn to it despite his pacifist views. Soon he forms a secret club with other misfits in his town who collect and revere antique guns and call themselves the Dandies. But despite their film belief in the most important Dandy rule of all -- "never draw your weapons." The film screened last month at the Sundance Film Festival.
"Thomas Vinterberg has made a bold, entertaining one-of-a-kind movie that will make a big splash upon its release," commented Guirgis in a statement. "The combination of Vinterberg and Von Trier will attract a lot of attention and will not disappoint. It's an honor for us to work with two of the most exciting talents in the world."
Wellspring, a division of American Vantage Media Corp., has two Independent Spirit Award nominations this weekend for best documentary ("Tarnation") and best foreign film ("Red Lights"). Current releases include Jessica Yu's award winning "In the Realms of the Unreal," while upcoming titles are Todd Solondz's "Palindromes," Arnaud Desplechin's multi-award winning "Kings and Queen" (nominated for 7 Cesars) and Rupert Murray's Sundance favorite "Unknown White Male."
Trust Film Sales handle worldwide distribution rights for Nordic and international feature films. Since being founded as an independent branch of the Danish production company Zentropa in 1997, the company has represented about 20 films per year.