Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tribeca Film acquires North American rights to British drama STARRED UP

2014 theatrical release set for Scottish director David Mackenzie’s prison drama starring
Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, and Emmy®-nominated actor Rupert Friend

“The most powerful and assured film of David Mackenzie’s career….Starred Up is a raw, compelling drama that only grows more compelling as it unfolds.” –Allan Hunter, Screen International

“The film that announce[s] a new star, Jack O’Connell…his performance here as an ultra-violent anti-social kid in the slammer shows off the actor’s James Cagney-like bantam cock vitality and quicksilver mood changes. – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

New York, NY – November 7, 2013 – Tribeca Film today announced it has acquired North American rights to Scottish director David Mackenzie’s award-winning gritty prison drama Starred Up, which stars Jack O’Connell (“Skins”, Angelina Jolie’s upcoming Unbroken), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Rupert Friend (“Homeland”)The screenplay is written by Jonathan Asser, a psychotherapist that worked in the penal system, who won the Best British Newcomer Award at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival. A 2014 theatrical release is planned for the film, which premiered earlier this year to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. Independent, who previously worked with David Mackenzie on the Silver Bear winner Hallam Foe, is representing Starred Up for International Sales at the current AFM.  

Starred Up is about ultra-violent 19-year-old Eric (O'Connell), who is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father (Mendelsohn). As his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies in both prison authorities and fellow inmates — and his already volatile relationship with his father is pushed past the breaking point — Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist (Friend), who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his own life, unsure if his own father is there to protect him or join in punishing him.

“The captivating authenticity that David Mackenzie depicts in Starred Up is driven by a brilliant breakout performance by its young lead Jack O’Connell,” said Tribeca Film Chief Creative Officer Geoff Gilmore. “It’s a uniquely detailed and intense immersion in a familiar yet original plot that spins on an axis of a father son relationship and the issues that besiege the British penal system.”

“We were thrilled by the reaction to the film in Telluride and Toronto this year and are delighted to be working with Tribeca to bring the film to a wider audience.  We are blown away by their enthusiasm for the film and really look forward to their dynamic approach to the release next year,” said director David Mackenzie.

The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Alison Diviney, Acquisitions Manager, and Independent’s Abigail Walsh on behalf of the filmmakers. Fox Searchlight will release the film in the U.K. in the spring of 2014.    

Starred Up is produced by Gillian Berrie and presented by Film4 in association with Creative Scotland, Quickfire Films, Northern Ireland Screen and Lip Sync Productions. The film is executive produced by Katherine Butler, Sam Lavender, James Atherton, Jan Pace, Norman Merry, Peter Hampden and David Mackenzie.

Editor’s note: A film still can be accessed at the following link:
About Tribeca Film
Tribeca Film is a comprehensive distribution label dedicated to acquiring and releasing independent films across multiple platforms, including theatrical, video-on-demand, 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. Current and upcoming Tribeca Film releases include the 2013 SXSW Audience Award Zero Charisma, James Franco’s Sal, the award-winning The Broken Circle Breakdown, and Francesca Gregorini's The Truth About Emanuel.
 About Independent
Independent specializes in the development, financing, production and distribution of independent feature films. Led by CEO Luc Roeg who has over twenty years experience in the film business, Independent has also recently established a UK Distribution arm.

Independent most recently produced John Banville’s Booker Prize winning novel The Sea which premiered at Toronto Film Festival 2013, starring Ciarán Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Rufus Sewell and Sinéad Cusack. Previously, Independent produced the Tolstoy - based film Boxing Day that had its World Premiere at Venice last year. In 2011 Independent produced the critically acclaimed adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel We Need To Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay and starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly. The film had its world premiere in competition in Cannes and won the Best British Film Award at the London Critic's Circle.

In addition to developing, producing and distributing its own content, Independent also acquires third party rights to manage through its sales and distribution divisions. Latest titles include Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan, Sean Ellis’ Sundance Audience Award winner & Academy Awards nominee Metro Manila and Multi Award winning documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

The company has an excellent network of buyers all over the world and attends all relevant markets throughout the year showcasing highly acclaimed films. Independent's distribution division specialises in the acquisition and distribution of content across all media channels in the UK (theatrical, TV, DVD, digital, etc.)

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