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Film Acquisition Rundown: RLJ Grabs ‘Dog Eat Dog,’ FilmRise Picks Up SXSW Drama ‘From Nowhere’ and More

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that's been picked up around the globe.

The Levelling movie

“The Levelling”

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

– RLJ Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to Paul Schrader’s action thriller “Dog Eat Dog.” Based on the novel by Edward Bunker, the film was written by Matthew Wilder and stars Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe and Christopher Matthew Cook. The film first premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival and will have its North American premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival in September.

The film “tells the story of three ex-cons who botch a kidnapping. They not only lose a rich payoff, but they get on the wrong side of the mob and become the city’s most wanted fugitives. Vowing to stay out of prison at all costs, things get completely out of control as they go on the run from everyone.”

– FilmRise has acquired the exclusive North American distribution rights to the award-winning SXSW indie drama, “From Nowhere.” The film won the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. The film is directed by Matthew Newton, and co-written by Newton and Kate Ballen.

The film “follows three undocumented teenagers – a Dominican girl, an African boy and a Peruvian girl – who are about to graduate high school in the Bronx. Like most teens, all they want to do is hang out with their friends, fall in love, and figure out where to go to college, but unlike their American classmates, these three live with the threat of being discovered by the authorities. When one of their teachers (Julianne Nicholson) connects them with a lawyer (Denis O’Hare) to help them get their papers, the teens start to dig into their family history to assist their immigration cases. As they continue to deal with the everyday problems of adolescence, the teenagers are forced to confront their past and, at the same time, fight for their future.”

“From Nowhere” will receive a theatrical release in winter 2017.

From Nowhere movie

“From Nowhere”

– Mongrel International has acquired international sales rights to “The Levelling,” written and directed by Hope Dickson Leach, and starring Ellie Kendrick, Jack Holden, Joe Blakemore and David Troughton, and produced by Rachel Robey of Wellington Films.

In the film, “trainee veterinarian Clover Catto (Kendrick) returns to the farm where she grew up after hearing news that her brother Harry has died in an apparent suicide. Finding the family home in ruins following recent floods that devastated the Somerset area, Clover is forced to confront her difficult father Aubrey about the farm, the livestock and, crucially, the details surrounding Harry’s death. As the funeral approaches, Clover’s discoveries send her on an emotional journey and a reckoning ­with the land, her family and herself.”

The film will premiere in the Discovery section of TIFF, with other notable upcoming festival premieres to be announced shortly.

– monterey media has picked up all U.S. and Canada rights to Lee Wilkof’s directorial debut “No Pay, Nudity,” starring Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane and Frances Conroy. In the film, “aging actor Lester Rosenthal (Gabriel Byrne) has lost his way. In this often humorous, yet warmly poignant story, love and friendship, jealousy and re-discovery, career, family, and  friends (Nathan Lane, Frances Conroy) intertwine as Lester navigates the perplexing realities facing so many of us as we pursue dreams and dignity.”

“No Pay, Nudity” premiered at the Stony Brook Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize Achievement in Filmmaking. The U.S. theatrical launch is planned for November.

– Cinema Guild has picked up John Richie’s documentary “91%,” making it available on iTunes as of this week. The film previously screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival earlier this year, in addition to screening in theaters, churches, and gun violence prevention events across the country.

The hour-long doc “focuses on a cross-section of U.S. gun violence victims telling their heartbreaking stories of loss, pain, and a heroic search for hope in a nation stalled in a senseless gun control debate. Throughout these otherwise unrelated shootings lies a common thread – the gunmen had all-too-easy access to the virtually untraceable, high-powered weaponry used in their attacks. Moving beyond the confusing gun control politics and avoiding any discussion about the often-unpredictable motivations of rampage killers, 91% shows that Americans almost unanimously support both 2nd Amendment rights and common sense regulation.  The film shares personal accounts of lives impacted by this broken system and explores the disconnect between voter mandate and congressional action.”

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