September 9, 2012


More acquisition news from the Toronto International Film Festival:

  • Focus Features picked up the U.S. rights to The Place Beyond the Pines, the drama written and directed Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), led by Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes.
  • Anchor Bay will distribute the Billy Bob Thorton‘s Jayne Mansfield’s Car.  Thorton co-stars with Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Katherine LaNasa, Ray Stevenson and Robert Patrick.
  • Arclight Films acquired Storm Surfers 3D, the Australian documentary (narrated by Toni Collette) about two-time world surfing champion Tom Carroll and big wave pioneer Ross Clarke-Jones.

Hit the jump for details on each project.

The Place Beyond the Pines

Here’s the press release:


TORONTO, September 9th, 2012 – U.S. rights to The Place Beyond the Pines, the highly anticipated new drama from director Derek Cianfrance, starring Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes, have been acquired by Focus Features for a 2013 release. Focus CEO James Schamus and president Andrew Karpen made the announcement today at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie is having its world premiere.

Focus acquired the rights from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), which financed the movie and which was represented at Toronto by Jim Tauber and Nick Hanks, with WME Global and Creative Artists Agency acting as sales agents. International sales to the feature are being handled by Sierra/Affinity.

The Place Beyond the Pines was written by Mr. Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder. The movie was produced by Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell through their Electric City Entertainment, Alex Orlovsky through his Verisimilitude, and SKE’s Sidney Kimmel; Mr. Patricof, Ms. Howell, and Mr. Orlovsky previously produced the award-winning Blue Valentine, directed by Mr. Cianfrance and starring Mr. Gosling and Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams. The new movie’s executive producers are Mr. Tauber, Matt Berenson, and SKE’s Bruce Toll.

The film powerfully explores the consequences of motorcycle rider Luke (Mr. Gosling)’s fateful decision to commit a crime to support his child. The incident renders him targeted by policeman Avery (Mr. Cooper), and the two men become locked on a tense collision course which will have a devastating impact on both of their families in the years following.

The cast of The Place Beyond the Pines also includes Golden Globe Award nominee Rose Byrne (Damages), Mahershala Ali (Treme), Emory Cohen (Smash), Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Gabe Fazio, Bruce Greenwood (Flight), Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises), and Harris Yulin (Scarface).

Mr. Schamus and Mr. Karpen said, “Derek Cianfrance has made a bold, epic, and emotionally generous saga, once again showing a master’s hand in eliciting searingly beautiful performances from the actors with whom he collaborates.”

Mr. Cianfrance commented, “The Focus team’s ability to work in partnership with writers and directors is known and respected by the film community. Their passion for this very personal project is why I know they are the right home for our new movie.”

Mr. Tauber added, “Sidney Kimmel and I are convinced that the entire Focus team understands the uniqueness of Derek’s bold and daring film, and that they provide the perfect home for the filmmaking group.”


Jayne Mansfield’s Car

Variety featured this quote from Thorton in their report on the deal:


“The movie reflects some of my own experiences, but its ideas seem universal to me.  It examines our fascination with and fear of both life and death, how war is viewed by different generations, and how its effects manifest themselves in families who experience it. It takes place at the height of the Love Generation and the Vietnam War—a time it seems we still haven’t learned the lessons from.”

Here’s the TIFF synopsis:

Jayne Mansfield’s Car is a funny, poignant and searching look at three generations of fathers and sons in the South during the tumultuous ‘60s. It follows the family’s heartfelt — and sometimes hilarious — struggles with long-held resentments, secrets, the memories of war, and how life, death and loss shaped them all.


Storm Surfers 3D

Here’s the press release:

storm surfers 3d

TORONTO (September 8, 2012) – Arclight Films announces the North American premiere of STORM SURFERS 3D, the real-life adventures of two of the world’s greatest surf legends as they seek out the Pacific’s biggest and most dangerous waves. The film, a TIFF DOCS official selection, premieres Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 2:45PM at Scotiabank 1. An encore screening takes place Tuesday, September 11th at 4:00PM at TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 2. The film is narrated by Toni Collette.

Storm Surfers is the most sophisticated global surf entertainment brand delivered across all media platforms,” said producer Marcus Gillezeau. “The film not only utilizes the latest in technology to immediately draw the audience into the adventure, it follows the real-life story of two of the most respected surfers in the world and their determination to do something that’s never been done before; ride waves that humans have never ridden.”

Not only is STORM SURFERS 3D a breakthrough surfing film of monumental proportion, there has also been a previous television series on the air in Australia and other countries. Initially commissioned by Discovery Asia, the previous 2D TV series has now sold to over 140 countries and been seen by an estimated 20 million viewers.

Two-time world surfing champion Tom Carroll and big wave pioneer Ross Clarke-Jones are surfing brothers born out of the 1980s generation of pro-surfing. Both men, currently in their 40s, live to ride waves the size of buildings. Based in Sydney, Australia, Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones enlist the help of surf-forecasting guru and meteorologist Ben Matson to track giant oceanic storms that create massive swells.  It’s then the race against time begins, taking Tom, Ross and the crew to the most exotic and remote ends of the planet to ride and claim them.

Over the course of the season, Ross and Tom are forced to come to terms with the power of Mother Nature and their own mortality as they encounter potentially lethal waves on the south coast, in Sydney and Hawaii, where Tom surfs the infamous Pipeline with 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.

As winter draws to a close, nature embraces Ross and Tom’s dream to surf a maiden big wave break. A fellow big wave surfer on the West Coast reveals a mythical wave seventy-five kilometers out to sea.  Named Turtle Dove, this legendary breaker has never been surfed and could possibly hold the biggest, most dangerous wave in Australia.

Their final mission of the season becomes the most perilous of their lives. As they uncover the mystery of Turtle Dove, Tom faces a career-ending moment in the worst wipeout of his life.  He must now decide whether to push the boundaries of life and luck in this quest to triumph over one of the last remaining un-surfed waves in Australia.

The tone of the STORM SURFERS 3D journey, carefully constructed by directors Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan is light yet the stakes are deadly serious, which creates an exhilarating and moving balance. The film was conceived not only to stand amongst the great surf movies, but also to be accessible to an audience outside of surfing, creating an overall inspiring cinematic experience. The stunning visual and emotional journey is intertwined with intimate interviews as each main character shares their story, taking the audience along on their epic adventure.

Technology is at its finest with director of photography Dave Maguire’s modified 3D HD Go Pro cameras and the percussive symphonics of a moving score by composer Michael Yezerski (“The Black Balloon”) and Australian Chamber Orchestra leader Richard Tognetti.

“We’re thrilled to be onboard with the STORM SURFERS 3D team,” said Clay Epstein, VP of Sales and Acquisitions. “All of the film’s components work in perfect harmony to create a thrilling and inspiring ride for audiences that is a feast for all the senses.”

Arclight Films is handling worldwide sales excluding Europe and North America, but including the UK.

XYZ Films is handling North American sales and Red Bull Media House is handing European sales.

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