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Film Acquisition Rundown: Maxine Street Picks Up ‘Hickey,’ GKIDS Gets ‘My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea’ 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.

“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea”

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.

– EXCLUSIVE: Maxine Street LLC will release Alex Grossman’s teen workplace comedy “Hickey” for an LA theatrical run on January 6, followed by a North American DVD/TVOD release from Gravitas Ventures on January 10. The film is Grossman’s first feature film and stars Troy Doherty, Flavia Watson, Raychel Diane Weiner and Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. Grossman wrote and directed and Lije Sarki produced.

The film is “a day in the life of math whiz and recent high school graduate Ryan Chess (Doherty) who has spent the entire summer dithering over his choice of colleges. On the one hand, he has a full ride to his dream school, MIT but he’s also hopelessly in love with co-worker Carly (Watson), whom he has never asked out. Staying home and attending UCLA would mean he gets to stay close to Carly, but if they’re not even a couple, is it worth it?”

– Film and television distributor FilmRise has announced that it has acquired North American distribution rights to Nancy Buirski’s “By Sidney Lumet.” The documentary had its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and will make its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere on the “American Masters”  series Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 8 p.m. on PBS. FilmRise will release the documentary on streaming platforms and DVD/Blu-ray beginning in early 2017.

“By Sidney Lumet”

The film, directed by Buirski, “features never-before-seen footage shot by late filmmaker Daniel Anker of a 2008 interview with renowned film director Sidney Lumet. ‘By Sidney Lumet’ traces the filmmaker’s influences from their earliest beginnings—from growing up on New York’s Lower East Side and working as a child actor in Yiddish Theater and film, to a traumatic and formative event witnessed in his youth. Offering new insights into his life and body of work, ‘By Sidney Lumet’ reexamines this artist’s influence in his own words and through clips from ’12 Angry Men,’ ‘Serpico,’ ‘Dog Day Afternoon,’ ‘and Network,’ among others.”

– GKIDS, the producer and distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences, announced that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for the animated feature “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea.”

The 2016 American independent comedy was written and directed by Dash Shaw in his feature film debut. The film features the voices of Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, Susan Sarandon, Alex Karpovsky and John Cameron Mitchell, and was produced by Electric Chinoland’s Kyle Martin, Craig Zobel and Dash Shaw, in association with Fat Possum Records’ Matthew Johnson, Low Spark Films, and Washington Square Films.

The film will be released theatrically in late spring 2017, following a strong audience and critical response at the Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, AFI Fest and Fantastic Fest, among others.

– FilmRise has also announced that is has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Ryan Suffern’s award-winning documentary “Finding Oscar.” FilmRise will release the film theatrically in spring of 2017. The film will be available for streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the summer of 2017.

Directed by Ryan Suffern, produced by Frank Marshall and Suffern, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the film “follows the investigation into the Dos Erres massacre that began on December 6, 1982. Today marks the 34th anniversary of this atrocity, when a team of special forces soldiers from the Guatemalan military raided the village of Dos Erres during the de facto presidency of General Efraín Ríos Montt. Of the 250 residents of Dos Erres who died at the hands of the military over the next days, a young boy named Oscar was spared by army commandos and brought up by one of the men who killed his family.”

The documentary had its world premiere at the prestigious Telluride Film Festival and most recently screened at DOC NYC.

Let Me Make You a Martyr

“Let Me Make You a Martyr”

Iscariot Films

– Additionally, FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights to crime thriller, “Let Me Make You a Martyr.” The distributor will release the film across all digital and home media platforms beginning in early 2017.

Directed by Corey Asraf and John Swab, the film “follows two adopted siblings and lovers as they join forces to take down their abusive father. The story unfolds within a seedy underworld of the rural Midwest where violence reigns supreme and connection is impermanent. In his biggest on-screen role to date, Marilyn Manson stars as a hardened, contemplative hit man hired by the father (Mark Boone Junior), to kill his son (Niko Nicotera).”

The film had a sold-out world premiere at the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival and went on to play at the Sitges International Film Festival this fall.

– Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American distribution rights to Marvin Young’s directorial debut “Justice Served.” The film stars Grammy award-winning artist Young, Lochlyn Munro, Lance Henriksen and Gail O’Grady. The film was produced in conjunction with Arizona State University and is the largest film project to come from the university. Breaking Glass is planning a DVD/VOD release in the second quarter of 2017.

The film follows “Luke Palmer, a Los Angeles widower, has been in therapy for a year since his wife’s accused killer was found Not Guilty at trial. In an attempt to get away from his anguish, Luke takes a trip to Scottsdale for a three-day vacation, but is kidnapped and awakens to find himself in a room with a recording device…and an electrified restraining chair. The next thing Luke knows, a hooded man is dragged into the room and secured in the chair. The hood is removed to reveal Galen Terry, the man acquitted for Luke’s wife’s murder.”

Don't Think Twice

“Don’t Think Twice”

The Film Arcade

– In related distribution news, The Film Arcade and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have announced that they have entered into a multi-year home entertainment distribution agreement in which Universal will handle all marketing, sales and distribution services for Blu-ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-through, Video-on-Demand and Television of The Film Arcade films in the U.S. and Canada.

The Film Arcade, which does the theatrical marketing and distribution for its productions and acquisitions, will begin the new Universal pact with Mike Birbiglia’s “Don’t Think Twice.” In addition, Universal has acquired all international distribution rights to “Don’t Think Twice” from financiers The Film Arcade and Cold Iron Pictures and will release the film internationally in 2017.

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