One of the most acclaimed U.S. independent films from the 2006 festival circuit so far, Kelly Reichardt‘s “Old Joy,” has been acquired for U.S. and Canadian distribution by Kino International. The film, which debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and later screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, the New Directors/New Films Series in New York and SXSW, stirred interest from niche distributors in the States, with Kino emerging as the buyer. Forward Entertainment is launching international sales at the Cannes market this week.
Produced by Lars Knudsen, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, and Jay Van Hoy, the film was executive produced by Todd Haynes. It stars singer/ songwriter Will Oldham and Daniel London and is described as chronicling, “a journey deep into the forests of Oregon by two old friends in their mid-thirties, whose long rapport has reached a crossroads due to their divergent paths in life.”
Yo La Tengo provided the musical score and “Old Joy” was written by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, based on Raymond’s short story. Filmmaker Peter Sillen was the cinematographer. Reichardt’s previous films include “River of Grass” and “Ode.”
“Kelly Reichardt has delivered one of the most thoughtful and lyrical American independent films of the decade,” noted Kino president Don Krim, in a statement. “Old Joy” seems to tap into the zeitgeist of its characters’ generation with a depth and subtlety that is very special, as dozens of US film critics have already remarked.”
Called a “luminous new film” that explores themes of friendship and male bonding with “subtlety and insight” by New Directors/New Films, Reichardt’s latest feature was further praised as, “a Whitmanesque exploration of nature, both human and elemental, and the idea that old joy can have new connotations.”