Sundance 2012: IFC Films Acquires Josh Radnor’s LIBERAL ARTS and THE PACT

     January 26, 2012

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The 2012 Sundance Film Festival is starting to wind down, but studios are not lacking for distribution deals. IFC Films made two acquisition deals today for Liberal Arts and The Pact. How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor’s second directorial feature Liberal Arts is one of the most buzzed about films of the fest. The plot concerns a newly single man (Radnor) who returns to his alma mater and ends up falling in love with a sophomore. Last year’s breakout star of the festival, Elizabeth Olsen, stars as Radnor’s love interest. The film garnered multiple standing ovations, and more than a few are comparing Radnor’s sensibilities to those of a young Cameron Crowe.

Variety reports that IFC Films will handle North American rights to the pic, and will give it a theatrical release later this year. In addition to Liberal Arts, Radnor wrote and directed his debut happythankyoumoreplease. Hit the jump for acquisition news regarding the thriller The Pact.

the-pact-movie-image-jewel-staite-02On the other end of the tonal spectrum, IFC also picked up North American rights to Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact. The thriller centers on two sisters who reluctantly return to their childhood home when their mother passes away. While in the house, they encounter a mysterious presence in their midst. Casper Van Dien stars alongside Caity Lotz and Haley Hudson. Here’s the full press release:

Park City, UT (January 26, 2012) – IFC Midnight announced today from the 2012 SundanceFilm Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights, to writer-director Nicholas McCarthy’s THE PACT. The film, which premiered in the festival’s Midnight section on January 20, stars Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, Haley Hudson, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Sam Ball, and Agnes Bruckner. The film was produced by Preferred Content’s Ross M. Dinerstein, and executive produced by Jamie Carmichael at Content, as part of a new multi-film financing deal between Preferred Content and Content Film.

THE PACT follows sisters Nicole and Annie who reluctantly return to their childhood home when their mother passes away to pay their last respects. While staying overnight in the house, the sisters sense a mysterious presence in their midst: noises startling them in the night, objects moving about, a fallen picture of an unknown woman posed next to their mother. Annie begins experiencing a series of intense and disturbing dreams ­ visions that lead her to uncover something terrible about her mother’s past that is finally revealing itself. This feature film was inspired by an acclaimed 2011 Sundance Film Festival short of the same name directed by McCarthy. It is one of the first films to be conceived, and premiere, as a narrative short, and just one year later return to the festival feature film.

President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films Jonathan Sehring said: “Nicholas McCarthy makes a bold directorial debut here, and turns the vintage haunted house story into a modern and terrifying film. McCarthy also offers up an exciting young cast led by Caity Lotz who, deservedly so, has been one of the breakout stars of this year’s festival. It’s also great to see Casper Van Dien here.”

“I am psyched to be working with IFC Midnight on this film,” says McCarthy. “After meeting with their team, we all knew they are the perfect home for our film.”

Content’s Carmichael said, “This is just such a fantastic way to start our deal with Preferred. It’s been such a pleasure working with Nick and Ross on The Pact, and to have IFC Midnight joining our team is the icing on the cake.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, and Jeff Deutchman, Director of Acquisitions, with Kevin Iwashina and Christine D’Souza of Preferred Content along with Rick Kwak of Content Media Corporation on behalf of the filmmakers. Content handles international sales and will screen the film at the upcoming Berlin market.

You can catch up with all of our Sundance coverage thus far here. Below are links to all of the Sundance sales thus far:

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