Variance Films Lands Consensus Best Undistributed Film of last year, “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench”
Also acquires provocative soccer documentary “After The Cup: Sons of Sakhnin United”
Variance Films has acquired all North American theatrical rights for the acclaimed indie musical sensation GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH and the thought-provoking soccer documentary AFTER THE CUP: SONS OF SAKHNIN UNITED, it was announced today by President Dylan Marchetti.
Both films continue a strong run for Variance that includes the recent box office successes UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US, which is in its thirteenth week of theatrical release, and PASSPORT TO LOVE, which is now currently available nationwide via VOD after a 10-city theatrical run in 2009.
Fresh off of sold-out festival screenings at Tribeca, AFI, the Viennale, and Torino (where it won the Special Jury Prize), GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH was ranked #3 on the indieWIRE annual critics’ poll of best undistributed films and was named “The Best Undistributed Film of 2009” by writers from Film Comment, Variety, Time Out New York, and New York Daily News. Variance, in conjunction with the filmmakers, will release the film in late summer in theaters across the country. Mangusta Productions, a New York based production company that is committed to establishing a sustainable environment for independent filmmakers, will provide the P&A for the theatrical release. DVD, VOD, and international rights remain available.
A full-fledged musical written and directed by Damien Chazelle, GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH tells the story of two separated lovers, a young jazz trumpeter and an introverted woman, who slowly wind their way back into each other’s lives through a series of romances and near-romances punctuated by song. Recasting the MGM musical tradition in a gritty, near-documentary style, the film stars Jason Palmer, and features all original music recorded by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra.
“I cannot express how delightful it is to see a film like GUY AND MADELINE,” said Marchetti. “One minute it’s Godard and Cassavetes at the peak of their powers, the next it’s tap dancing and jazz from the best of the 1940’s musicals- but then, Damien blends them together so artfully that he makes you forget the influences and realize what a singular, innovative talent is on display here.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Dylan Marchetti and his team at Variance,” said writer/director Damien Chazelle in a statement. “They’ve shown such enthusiasm for the film, and their ideas for getting it out to the world have gotten me very excited.”
From acclaimed documentary director Christopher Browne (“A League of Ordinary Gentlemen”), AFTER THE CUP: SONS OF SAKHNIN UNITED is a documentary that tells the story of the soccer franchise Bnei Sakhnin, the first team from an Arab town to win the Israeli Cup and represent Israel in European competition. Fielding Arab, Jewish and foreign-born players, owned by an Arab, and coached by a Jew, Bnei Sakhnin’s success begins to represent a symbol of co-existence, a potential bridge between Arabs and Jews in Israel. But as Bnei Sakhnin begins its next season, they know it may well be their first, and last, in the limelight as the serious consequences they face if they fail to live up to expectations tear at the very fiber of their belief system and team unity.
“I was riveted by AFTER THE CUP from the jump,” said Marchetti, “This film gives us a rousing underdog sports story and a powerful morality tale, and combines them expertly to provide audiences with everything that they could want in a documentary.”
“I’m very excited to be working with Dylan and his team at Variance,” said director Browne. “The way they tailor their releases to reach each film’s audience as creatively, efficiently, and affordably as possible make them invaluable partners for filmmakers who, more then ever, need tools to leverage the critical recognition that attends a theatrical release into viability for the film across subsequent distribution channels. My experience working with Dylan so far confirms my suspicion that he is one of the architects of an emerging Do-It-With-Others model that will allow movies like AFTER THE CUP to continue to be made by helping them become a financially responsible proposition.”
Variance will release AFTER THE CUP: SONS OF SAKHNIN UNITED on May 21st in New York and May 28th in Los Angeles to take advantage of the World Cup frenzy in June, followed by a theatrical expansion and a national VOD rollout later in the summer.
GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH is written and directed by Damien Chazelle, stars Jason Palmer, Desiree Garcia, and Sandha Khin, features music by Justin Hurwitz and choreography by Kelly Kaleta, and was produced by Jasmine McGlade, Mihai Dinulescu, and W.A.W. Parker.
AFTER THE CUP: SONS OF SAKHNIN UNITED was directed by Christopher Browne, co-directed by Alexander H. Browne, and produced by Roger Bennet, Alexander H. Browne, and Michael Cohen.
ABOUT VARIANCE FILMS
Variance Films is a Brooklyn-based theatrical distribution company whose mission is to bring quality films to audience via a theatrical release, while allowing filmmakers to retain all rights to their work. Founded in 2008 by former THINKFilm executive Dylan Marchetti, Variance distributes films using innovative release strategies that focus on collaborative, filmmaker-centric grassroots marketing tactics to drive audiences to theaters. Variance’s releases include UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US, the documentary about Norwegian black metal, the comedy WHITE ON RICE, the Vietnamese romantic drama PASSPORT TO LOVE, and has consulted on distribution and marketing strategies for films such as CHILDREN OF INVENTION and Arthouse Films’ HERB & DOROTHY, among others. For more information, please visit www.variancefilms.com.