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Sundance Selects Takes SXSW’s Breakout Gay Romance “Weekend”

Sundance Selects Takes SXSW's Breakout Gay Romance "Weekend"

Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend,” one of the most talked about films at the SXSW Film Festival (and winner of the audience award in the Emerging Visions program), has been acquired for North American release by Sundance Selects. Additionally, Sundance Selects picked up broadcast and digital rights in France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, East-Central Europe, Turkey, and Greece.

The British drama depicts a fleeting romantic between two men played by Tom Cullen and Chris New, and received rave reviews at the festival. “Revolving around a brief affair between two young men with vastly different perspectives on life,” indieWIRE wrote in its review, “the film operates on a familiar dynamic; however, it works here thanks to the precise alignment of talented actors and a focused screenplay. Humming along on the commitment of its engaging leads, ‘Weekend’ builds into a powerful encapsulation of an identity crisis over the course of three passionate days.”

Full release below.

Austin, TEXAS (March 17, 2011) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2011 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to writer/director Andrew Haigh’s WEEKEND. Additionally, Sundance Selects picked up broadcast and digital rights in France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, East-Central Europe, Turkey, and Greece. The film, which stars Tom Cullen and Chris New, was produced by Tristan Goligher. On the heels of its world premiere at this week’s festival, WEEKEND was awarded the SXSW Emerging Visions Audience Award. Sundance Selects will release the film theatrically and on Video-on-Demand (VOD).

WEEKEND begins on a Friday night. After hanging out with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club, alone and on the pull. Just before closing time he picks up Glen and that weekend, in bars and in bedrooms, getting drunk and taking drugs, telling stories and having sex, the two men get to know each other. It is an encounter that will resonate throughout their lives. Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects, said: “Over the years, we’ve discovered great new talents at SXSW like Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins and the Safdies. This year was no exception. We were completely moved by Andrew Haigh’s WEEKEND, a universal story about the perils and joys of falling in love. It was one of the most exciting films we saw at this year’s festival. We really look forward to working with Andrew and his producer Tristan Goligher and The Film Collaborative on bringing this to a big audience.”

“The reputation and personality of Sundance Selects makes them an ideal partner to release WEEKEND. After the enthusiasm and reception the film has received, this caps an incredible experience at SXSW. We look forward to working with the entire Sundance Selects team,” said Goligher and Haigh.

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects, and Jeff Deutchman, Manager of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects, with Orly Ravid, Founder of of The Film Collaborative, on behalf of the filmmakers.

After working in editing on films as diverse as GLADIATOR and MISTER LONELY, Haigh has concentrated on directing. Haigh’s fourth short film premiered at Berlinale in February 2009 and his first feature GREEK PETE was released in UK theaters in 2009.

Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by Rainbow Media.

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