Sundance 2012: Anchor Bay Picks Up Slash’s NOTHING TO FEAR; QUEEN OF VERSAILLES and SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Find Distributors

     January 20, 2012


Legendary guitarist Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) has had his first picture acquired for his horror production company, Slasher Films. Anchor Bay Films picked up Nothing to Fear at Sundance today, a film based on the legend that the town of Stull, Kansas is actually one of seven gateways to Hell. This premise explains the promo poster, which you can see after the jump. Nothing to Fear will be directed by Anthony Leonardi III, the creature designer and storyboard artist for such films as Constantine and 47 Ronin.

Also, two documentaries had their North American distribution rights picked up. Magnolia Pictures grabbed The Queen of Versailles, Lauren Greenfield’s (Thin) take on billionaires Jackie and David Siegel as they build America’s largest house (90,000 sq ft) and watch it collapse with the market. Magnolia is planning a summer release. Sony Pictures Classics acquired domestic rights to debut director Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, a tale of 1970’s undiscovered rock icon, Rodriguez, and how his disappearance inspired two South African fans to seek him out. Hit the jump for press releases on each project. Click here to get caught up on all of our Sundance 2012 coverage.

Here’s the promo poster and press release for Nothing to Fear, followed by the pressers for The Queen of Versailles and Searching for Sugar Man. In an interesting side-story, star of The Queen of Versailles David Siegel is currently suing the Sundance Institute and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield for defamation. You can read up on that story here and make of it what you will.



ABF Finalizes Deal With Slash’s New Company Heading Into Sundance Film Festival 2012

PARK CITY, UT – Anchor Bay Films announced today the pick up of Slasher Films’ Nothing to Fear. Slasher Films is the new horror label conceived by legendary guitar hero Slash and the producing team of Rob Eric and Academy Award winning producer Michael Williams (Session 9, Transsiberian, The Fog of War).  Nothing to Fear is the first film to be produced in the Slasher Films slate and is based on an actual town in Kansas, which, according to legend, is one of the seven gateways to Hell.  The film will be directed by Anthony Leonardi III.  Leonardi has been the lead creature artist and storyboard artist for such films as Constantine, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Rango and the upcoming 47 Ronin.  His vision and tenacity have made him one of the most talked about new directors.  Slash will be co-producing the score of the movie.

“Anchor Bay is thrilled to be working with the Slasher Films team,” commented Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Anchor Bay Films.  “We knew we wanted to work with Slash when he announced the formation of the label back in September at Toronto and after having read this script, we are even more excited.  Anchor Bay Films is the PERFECT home for Nothing to Fear.”

“The team that we’ve put together for Nothing to Fear is nothing short of excellent,” added Slash.  “Anthony Leonardi’s vision of this story is exceptionally unnerving and dark.  It will keep you totally engaged from the first second of the film to the last.  It’s guaranteed to scare the hell out of you.”

“Slash is one of the biggest music icons in the world,” remarked Josh Thomashow, Director of Acquisitions for Anchor Bay Films.  “Anchor Bay is so proud to be a part of the brand that makes him an icon in the horror world as well.”

Nothing to Fear is about a family whose journey towards a better life in a small town is savagely derailed by a charismatic but emotionally conflicted man of the cloth.

Stemming from folklore surrounding the actual town of Stull, Kansas, generations of residents and outsiders alike have proclaimed Stull to be one of the seven known gateways to Hell, where once a year, the Devil will rise from the town’s modest graveyard to walk the Earth.  For decades, television, music, movies, and more have cautiously addressed the town; its horror is so infamous, even Pope John Paul II refused to fly over its grounds.  Nothing to Fear finally pulls the folklore to the forefront and reveals the unsettling fact and fiction rumbling beneath the surface.

The deal was negotiated by Josh Thomashow on behalf of Anchor Bay and by Executive Producers Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield of Movie Package Co., and Jackie Eckhouse of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo on behalf of Slasher Films.  Content Media Corp. is currently handling international sales for the picture.

About Slasher Films

Slasher Films is the horror shingle conceived by legendary guitar hero Slash and the producing team of Rob Eric and Academy Award winning producer Michael Williams. The company intends to create edgy, contemporary, high-brow horror/thrillers for theatrical release with an emphasis on strong characters.

Slasher Films has the advantage of having one of the most respected musicians in the world at its helm, Slash.  The former Guns ‘n Roses guitarist has gone on to become a living legend in the music world.  In 2009, Time magazine named Slash the #2 Best Electric Guitarist of All Time.  After selling over 100 million records worldwide with his former band, Slash continued to storm the music world with his own solo projects including the band he co-founded, Velvet Revolver, and contributed to soundtracks and scoring several films including The Wrestler and Jackie Brown.  In 2010, Slash toured the world playing a sold out solo tour and massive outdoor festivals from Japan to Germany.  On April 14, 2012, Slash along with his former band Guns ‘n Roses will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

About Anchor Bay Films

Anchor Bay Films is unique in that it offers the creative community a fully integrated distribution capability on all platforms and an international solution extending beyond the U.S.  Anchor Bay Films is a division of Anchor Bay Entertainment and is on the ground providing quality distribution with operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, as well as distribution capabilities in other key territories. The company focuses on a platform release strategy for its films with an eye toward maximizing their potential across all ancillary distribution platforms. Films in its library include the critically-acclaimed comedy City Island starring Andy Garcia and Solitary Man starring Michael Douglas as well as the 2011 releases of Kill the Irishman starring Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken, Toronto Film Festival award-winner Beautiful Boy with Maria Bello and Michael Sheen and Cannes 2011 premiere Corman’s World.  Anchor Bay Entertainment is a subsidiary of Starz Media, LLC ( which is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation.



Magnolia Takes North American Rights to Lauren Greenfield’s THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES

Park City, UT – January 20, 2012 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today they have acquired North American distribution rights to THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, an outrageous, timely and moving film that premiered last night to a sold out crowd at the Eccles theater as this year’s opening night film at the Sundance film festival. Television and international rights are still available.

From acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield (Thin, Kids + Money; named one of the top 25 most influential photographers of our time by American Photo), THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES is a prescient, wildly entertaining documentary about billionaires Jackie and David Siegel, who are constructing what will be the largest house in America—a 90,000 square foot behemoth modeled after the palace of Versailles. When the financial market collapses in 2008, their extravagant dreams are put on hold. David’s massive time-share business runs into difficulties, and the filmmaker is there to capture the Siegel’s truly uncanny turn of fortune. While delivering big laughs, THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES also manages to be a moving, clear-eyed snapshot of a unique and sobering moment in our history, as we are forced to reevaluate the sustainability of the American dream. THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES is an Evergreen Pictures production and its producers are Lauren Greenfield, Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Frank Evers and Dan Cogan.

“THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES brilliantly encapsulates the salient issues of the American economic downturn, while also being one of the jaw-droppingly entertaining films I’ve seen in a very long time,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Lauren Greenfield is an exceptionally talented filmmaker with a wonderfully humanistic touch, and she has found a truly magnetic, charismatic star in Jackie Siegel.”

“I am really excited to be working with Magnolia, who we huddled with late into last night,” says Lauren Greenfield.  “I feel like we have found a true kindred spirit, who cares as much about our film as we do.  I am really looking forward to working with such a smart, impressive team.”

Magnolia is planning a summer theatrical release for the film.

The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley, with Submarine’s Josh Braun and David Koh. Domestic television and international rights are in active discussion.

About Magnolia Pictures
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. Recent releases include Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, Page One: Inside the New York Times, French thriller Point Blank, Blackthorn, starring Sam Shepard as Butch Cassidy, Andrew Jarecki’s All Good Things, and Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love.Magnolia’s upcoming releases include, Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, Fernando Meirelles’360The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe, David Gelb’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters, Bradley Rust Gray’sJack & Diane, and many more.



NEW YORK, NY (January 20, 2012) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired the rights in North America to Malik Bendjelloul’s directorial debut, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.  The film is produced by Simon Chinn of Red Box Films (PROJECT NIM, MAN ON WIRE) and executive produced by John Battsek of Passion Pictures (THE TILLMAN STORY, ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER) in association with Canfield Pictures and The Documentary Company.  SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN had its world premiere last night as the Opening Night Film of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Josh Braun and David Koh at Submarine Entertainment brokered the deal with Sony Pictures Classics, with Protagonist Pictures handling International Sales.

This is SPC’s third film with executive producer John Battsek. Previous films include Academy Award® Winner ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER and MY KID COULD PAINT THAT.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells the incredible story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon.  The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.

“SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is an incredible story that we can’t wait to share with American audiences.  We are thrilled to be distributing this film by talented new director Malik Bendjelloul and to be working again with our good friend producer John Battsek and Simon Chinn” states Sony Pictures Classics.

Adds Producer Simon Chinn, “We are hugely excited that SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. Their passion for this film combined with their stellar track record makes them the perfect distributors for it.”


Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 25 Academy Awards® (22 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered over 100 Academy Award® nominations (85 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services, and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 100 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found at

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