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Fox Searchlight Likes Sundance’s “Marcy May”

Fox Searchlight Likes Sundance's "Marcy May"

A very busy day for sales at Sundance continued with Fox Searchlight taking the worldwide rights to Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” The film – screening in U.S. Dramatic Competition – stars fest breakout Elizabeth Olsen, as well as Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes and Hugh Dancy. It details a young woman (Olsen) struggling to overcome her experiences in an abusive and brutal cult.

“Appearing fragile and terrified from her first scene until her last, Elizabeth Olsen brings an alarming quality to writer-director Sean Durkin’s quietly unsettling ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene,'” Eric Kohn wrote in a review of the film earlier in the fest. “Durkin focuses on alienated young Martha during the immediate aftermath of her decision to escape a cult in the Catskill Mountains, probing her anxieties with keen cinematic skill. Using a patient, non-linear approach, the filmmaker constructs his character’s psychological disarray in a series of fragments from Martha’s brutal experience.”

The film is scheduled to be released in 2011. Read the full review here, and check out the full news release below.

The cast and crew of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” at the Eccles Center today. Photo by Peter Knegt

PARK CITY, UT January 24, 2011 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to the suspenseful drama MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE. Written and directed by Sean Durkin, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE stars Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes and Hugh Dancy. Maybach Cunningham and FilmHaven entertainment present a Borderline Films Production in association with This Is that. The film was produced by Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Chris Maybach and Patrick Cunningham. Ted Hope, Matt Palmieri, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim and Alexander Schepsman are executive producers with Andrew Corkin as co-producer. The film is scheduled to be released in 2011.

“We were all captivated by the compelling performances and the expert craftsmanship of Sean Durkin,” said Gilula and Utley. “We are excited to bring this gripping drama to audiences everywhere.”

“Sean Durkin has crafted a riveting first feature,” said Claudia Lewis, President of Production. “We are thrilled to be working with a director who has such an original voice. We hope to make many more films with Borderline Films, this exceptional team of young filmmakers.”

“Josh, Antonio and I have had such an incredible experience at Sundance this year,” said Durkin. “We are excited to be working with Searchlight, a company that has consistently embraced new voices and unique storytelling.”

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien, Vice President of Acquisitions Ray Strache and Richard Klubeck, Rena Ronson and David Flynn of UTA’s Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers. Borderline is managed by Melissa Breaux of Washington Square Arts.

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