Writer-Director So Yong Kim’s Drama Premiered at Sundance,
Stars Paul Dano, Jon Heder and Jena Malone
“Dano’s intense commitment to the role, combined with the partially improvised dialogue, establishes the kind of spontaneity that marks the strong lead performances
in several of Robert Altman’s best films.” -Variety
New York, NY – May 1, 2012 – Tribeca Film announced today that it has acquired all North American rights to FOR ELLEN, a deeply felt dramatic study of a father’s efforts at reconciliation with his young daughter.
The film, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, is Kim’s follow-up to independent standouts TREELESS MOUNTAIN and IN BETWEEN DAYS. Bradley Rust Gray and Jen Gatien serve as producers through SoandBrad and DeerJen films.
Tribeca Film plans a fall release in select theatrical markets, beginning September 5th at New York’s Film Forum. FOR ELLEN will also be released via On Demand platforms where it will be available in 40+ million homes on a variety of video-on-demand offerings, as well as iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU, Xbox and Samsung Media Hub.
Aspiring rock star Joby Taylor (Paul Dano- THERE WILL BE BLOOD, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) has wanted nothing more than to “make it”, having flirted with fame but never crossed over into true success. In the midst of a low period in his life, he agrees to sign divorce papers with his estranged wife (Margarita Levieva- “Revenge,” “How To Make It In America”) in order to see money from the sale of their home, only to discover that by signing the papers, he will forfeit all custody of his six-year-old daughter, Ellen (newcomer Shaylena Mandigo). With a good-natured lawyer (Jon Heder-NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) unable to make headway in reversing the decision, and a girlfriend (Jena Malone- INTO THE WILD) that represents an era of his life that he might be ready to graduate from, Joby negotiates a visit with his daughter to explore whether he is able to walk away from his child, and whether it might be too late for reconciliation.
FOR ELLEN stems from Kim’s desire to understand her own father, and an imagined confrontation if he ever returned to her. Using the stark beauty and vast farmlands of an American winter as its backdrop, the film charts Joby’s emotional journey as he realizes what he has lost – and what, if anything, can still be saved.
“With a subtle, understated approach, esteemed director So Yong Kim has made a film that is both deeply moving and deeply resonant,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “Fueled by a remarkable performance by Paul Dano and delicately directed by Kim, we couldn’t be more excited to share this very special story about a father trying to connect with his young daughter.”
"We look forward to working with Tribeca Film on the release and distribution of FOR ELLEN,” said Kim. We are honored to trust our film with such a talented and passionate team."
The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Nick Savva, Director of Acquisitions, and on behalf of the filmmakers by CAA.
About Tribeca Film:
Tribeca Film is a comprehensive distribution label dedicated to acquiring and marketing independent films across multiple platforms, including video-on-demand, theatrical, digital, home video and television. It is an initiative from Tribeca Enterprises designed to provide new platforms for how film can be experienced, while supporting filmmakers and introducing audiences to films they might not otherwise see. American Express continues its support of Tribeca and the independent film community by serving as the Founding Partner of Tribeca Film.
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