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Zeitgeist Takes "Salt of Life"

By Brian Brooks | Indiewire April 18, 2011 at 7:22AM

U.S. rights to 2011 Berlin International Film Festival title, "The Salt of Life" by Gianni Di Gregorio have been picked up by Zeitgeist Films, the distributor said Monday. Zeitgeist picked up the film from Fandango Portobello, which also handled the release of Gregorio's first film, "Mid-August Lunch," which Zeitgeist also released in the U.S. An early 2012 roll out is planned.
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U.S. rights to 2011 Berlin International Film Festival title, "The Salt of Life" by Gianni Di Gregorio have been picked up by Zeitgeist Films, the distributor said Monday. Zeitgeist picked up the film from Fandango Portobello, which also handled the release of Gregorio's first film, "Mid-August Lunch," which Zeitgeist also released in the U.S. An early 2012 roll out is planned.

Full press release follows:

Zeitgeist Films announced today that they have acquired U. S. rights from Fandago Portobello to Gianni Di Gregorio’s "The Salt of Life," the actor-writer-director’s sophomore outing following his 2010 sleeper hit "Mid-August Lunch," which was also handled by Fandango Portobello and released by Zeitgeist. "The Salt of Life," which premiered at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, finds Di Gregorio working again in a semi-autobiographical framework and with much of same cast of charming actors from his directorial debut. The new film is also an ode to women—but by a middle-aged man who has become invisible to them.

In this intimate comedy, Gianni is now dealing with a demanding, spendthrift mother (again played by the great Valeria de Franciscis from "Mid-August Lunch"); a wife who's more like a patronizing friend than a romantic partner; and a daughter with a slacker boyfriend whom Gianni unwillingly befriends. Seeing his 'codger' friends snaring beautiful younger women, Gianni tries his polite, utterly gracious best to generate some kind of extracurricular love life, with both hilarious and poignant results. Variety says “A tremendous achievement. Di Gregorio navigates his film with such a sense of delicacy that its tone is never coarsened."

An early 2012 release is planned.

The deal was brokered between Nancy Gerstman of Zeitgeist Films and their long time outside legal counsel Robert Marcus and Janine Gold and Sarah Nuttall of Fandango Portabello.

Gerstman stated, "We were all crazy about 'Mid-August Lunch,' as were audiences here, and we think 'The Salt of Life' brings Di Gregorio into the next realm, that of comic genius."

Zeitgeist has just released "Bill Cunningham New York" and "Queen to Play" with Kevin Kline and Sandrine Bonnaire to theatres. Their other 2011 films include "The Tree" with Charlotte Gainesbourg and Lynn Hershman's "!Women Art Revolution." The Special Edition 20th Anniversary DVD of Todd Haynes' "Poison" will be released this June.

This article is related to: Acquisitions