TIFF 2011: Magnet Picks Up Bobcat Goldthwait’s GOD BLESS AMERICA; Celluloid Dreams Acquires GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY

     September 13, 2011


With the Toronto International Film Festival in full swing, we have some acquisition news to bring your way tonight. First up, Magnet Releasing announced that it has acquired the worldwide rights to director Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America. Per the press release, Magnet is planning a 2012 theatrical release for the film through Magnolia Pictures’ Ultra VOD program. Starring Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr and Mackenzie Brooke Smith, the film follows Frank (Murray), a jobless and potentially dying man whose frustrations manifest themselves via dispatching generally unlikable people. In case you missed it, click here to check out Matt’s review of the film from TIFF.

Up next, Celluloid Dreams announced that it has picked up worldwide rights to co-writer/director Dan Algrant’s drama Greetings from Tim Buckley. Starring Penn Badgley, Imogen Poots, Frank Wood, Jessica Stone and Frank Bello, the pic follows Jeff Buckley (Badgley) as he romances a young woman (Poots) while attempting to understanding the father who abandoned him. The film is currently shooting in New York which means that a 2012 release could well be within reach. For a little more on the God Bless America and Greetings from Tim Buckley acquisitions, check out the press releases after the jump.

Here’s the official press release for Magnet’s acquisition of God Bless America:

Toronto, ON – September 13, 2011 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnet Releasing, genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, announced today they have acquired world rights to Bobcat Goldthwait’s outrageous killing-spree comedy GOD BLESS AMERICA, which premiered late last week in the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto Film Festival. Starring Joel Murray and Tara Lynn Barr, GOD BLESS AMERICA is a Darko Entertainment production written and directed by Goldthwait (Sleeping Dogs Lie, World’s Greatest Dad) and produced by Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta.

GOD BLESS AMERICA is the second collaboration between Goldthwait, Darko and Magnolia/Magnet, who released World’s Greatest Dad in 2009. Magnet is planning a 2012 theatrical release for GOD BLESS AMERICA through Magnolia’s Ultra VOD program. The film is Magnet’s second acquisition out of the Toronto Film Festival this year, having just picked up Michael Dowse’s raucous hockey comedy GOON.


Joel Murray gives a boldly comic and surprisingly empathetic performance as Frank, a divorced and depressed man who is becoming increasingly overwhelmed and infuriated by the rampant stupidity that surrounds him: his white trash neighbors, idiot co-workers, and most of all the soul-crushing banality and omnipresence of American pop culture. Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America, and with nothing left to lose, he buys a gun. Joined by a 16 year old partner in crime (Barr), he sets out to off the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society,

“I’m a big fan of all of Bobcat’s films, and very excited to be collaborating with him again,” said Magnolia/Magnet President Eamonn Bowles. “GOD BLESS AMERICA is the revenge fantasy to end all revenge fantasies. It’s a brilliant skewering of all that’s despicable in American pop culture and it’s his funniest film to date.”

“I’m very excited to be working with Eamonn again,” said Goldthwait.  “We share the same vision especially when it comes to whom should be getting shot in the face hypothetically.”

The deal was negotiated for Magnet by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Head of Legal and Business Affairs Chris Matson, with Cassian Elwes and Kevin Iwashina for Preferred Content. Magnolia International’s Laird Adamson is handling international sales of the film.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/God-Bless-America/285045434854513

About Magnet Releasing
Magnet is the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, specializing in films from the vanguard of horror, action, comedy and Asian cinema, and is home to such films as Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In, Neil Marshall’s sword and sandals bloodbath Centurion, John Woo’s historical epic Red Cliff, Ti West’s terrifying The House of the Devil, Tony Jaa’s Ong Bak trilogy, Nicholas Winding Refn’s Bronson, the Spanish horror film [Rec]2, George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead, Gareth Edwards’ Monsters, Takeshi Miike’s samurai masterpiece 13 Assassins, Alex de la Iglesia’s The Last Circus, KIM Jeewoon’s I Saw the Devil, Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber, Andre Ovredal’s Trollhunter, Michael Dowse’s hockey comedy Goon, the upcoming horror super-anthology ABC’s of Death, Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage and many more. Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also include the Landmark Theatres chain, the production company 2929 Productions, and high-definition cable network HDNet.

jeff-buckley-imageHere’s the official press release for Celluloid Dream’s acquisition of Greetings from Tim Buckley:

TORONTO, ON (September 13, 2010)—International production and sales outfit Celluloid Dreams, headed by Hengameh Panahi, has acquired worldwide rights to the highly anticipated film GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY starring Penn Badgley, Imogen Poots, Frank Wood, Norbert Leo Butz, Jessica Stone, Bill Sadler, and Frank Bello.  Dan Algrant (People I Know, Naked in New York) is directing the script he co-wrote with Emma Sheanshang and David Brendel.

GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY follows artist Jeff Buckley’s (Badgley) eminent 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. Through a romance with a young woman working at the concert, he comes to understand the father who abandoned him. Culminating in a cathartic performance of his father’s most famous songs, Jeff’s debut stuns the audience and launches his career as one of the greatest young musicians of his time.

“We are thrilled Celluloid Dreams came on board.  We are truly proud of this project and knew they were the perfect partner in making sure GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY found the right home.” said Patrick Millings Smith of Smuggler Films.

The film is currently shooting principal photography in New York City. The production entities behind the movie are SMUGGLER Films and A-Z Productions. It is being produced by Patrick Milling Smith, John N. Hart (Revolutionary Road, You Can Count On Me), and Fred Zollo (Quiz Show, Mississippi Burning). Executive Producers are Brian Carmody, Jill Footlick (Boys Don’t Cry, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) and Ben Limberg.

Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films acquired the film on behalf of Celluloid.The two companies are partnered on the elevated genre label, Celluloid Nightmares, which will be premiering the Indonesian action film The Raid as the opening night film in Toronto’s “Midnight Madness” program.  Recently, the two companies have broadened their agenda to include acquiring prestige titles like Greetings from Tim Buckley for sales under the Celluloid Dreams banner, including the Adrien Brody starrer Detachment which premiered earlier this year in Tribeca.

Latest News