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Wed October 1, 2008
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Regent Releasing, a leading independent U.S. distributor, has acquired North American distribution rights to $9.99, a superb comedy about the meaning of life and the pursuit of happiness. Regent acquired the film from international sales agent Fortissimo Films and will distribute it in select U.S. cities in the Spring of 2009. "$9.99" is the third film Regent Releasing picked up from Fortissimo at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. The other previously announced deals were for "Serbis" and "Tokyo Sonata."
The deal was negotiated by Regent's Mark Reinhart, West Coast General Manager and EVP, Distribution and Acquisitions and Fortissimo's Winnie Lau, SVP, Sales & Acquisitions.
"We are thrilled to bring Tatia Rosenthal's brilliantly innovative first feature to U.S. audiences," said Reinhart, "Regent is committed to showcasing innovative filmmaking while nurturing promising, emerging talent. Tatia and her delightful film could not be a finer opportunity to fulfill this mission."
The voice cast includes Academy Award®-winning actor Geoffrey Rush ("Shine," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Elizabeth") and Anthony Lapaglia ("Lantana," "The Bank," "Happy Feet," "Without a Trace"), Joel Egerton ("Star Wars II and III") and Barry Otto ("Australia," Oscar and Lucinda" and Strictly Ballroom"). The film was produced by Emile Sherman and Amir Harel and executive produced by Mati Broudo and Hezi Bezalel.
"For $9.99, with its unique animated style and multi-faceted message, we couldn't have a better home in the U.S. than Regent which is emerging as a cutting edge, gutsy, indie-focused player," added Lau. "They truly understand and believe in the stories from Etgar Keret and performances from the talent," she added.
Based on the Short Stories of Etgar Keret, $9.99 is a stop motion animated feature which offers slightly less than $10 worth about the meaning of life.
Have you ever wondered "What is the meaning of life? Why do we exist?" The answer to this vexing question is now within your reach! You'll find it in a small yet amazing booklet, which will explain, in easy to follow, simple terms your reason for being! The booklet, printed on the finest paper, contains illuminating, exquisite colour pictures, and could be yours for a mere $9.99.
This is the ad that alters the life of the unemployed 28 year old who still lives at home, Dave Peck. In his struggle to share his find with the world, Dave's surreal path crosses with those of his unusual neighbors: an old man and his disgruntled guardian angel, a magician in debt, a bewitching woman who likes her men extra smooth, a broken hearted man who befriends a group of hard partying two inch tall students, and a little boy who sets his piggy bank free. Their stories are woven together, examining the post-modern meaning of hope.
The concept for stop motion animation feature "$9.99" evolved out of an association between acclaimed short story writer Etgar Keret and New York-based filmmaker Tatia Rosenthal. During the development period Rosenthal was selected for the Sundance Writer's Lab, following on from which she became the first filmmaker to bring an animation project to Sundance's Director's Lab. When Rosenthal was then awarded the Richard Vague $100,000 Production Fund Award from her alma mater, NYU, she used the money to make a stop motion animation promo for $9.99.
With its sardonic vision and decidedly adult approach to drama Rosenthal and Keret's feature represents a departure from the more conventional association of animation with family film. With A BUCK'S WORTH (2005) Rosenthal made a stand-alone short that interprets the opening scene of $9.99 in which a homeless man takes a lateral approach to bumming a light, a smoke and a coffee. A BUCK'S WORTH, which premiered at Sundance, wittily demonstrated how effectively animation might work in the service of a feature script that was adult drama in sensibility and audience.
Source: Regent Releasing
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