By Mark Olsen
4:03 PM EDT, September 20, 2013
Two films from the Toronto International Film Festival -- Kelly Reichardt's "Night Moves" and Mike Myers' "Supermensch" -- have landed distribution deals.
Distributor Cinedigm announced Friday that it had picked up North American rights to the environmental thriller "Night Moves," while Radius-TWC has acquired rights to the documentary "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon," a portrait of a talent manager that marks Myers' directing debut.
Cinedigm plans to release "Night Moves" theatrically in spring 2014, and Radius will bring "Supermensch" to theaters in the first quarter of '14.
Starring Dakota Fanning, Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard, "Night Moves" follows three radical environmentalists in the Pacific Northwest as they plot to blow up a hydroelectric dam.
After its recent world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, "Night Moves" picked up the grand prize at the Deauville Film Festival.
The film takes Reichardt's socially aware filmmaking style and grafts it onto a tense plotting reminiscent of the paranoid thrillers of the 1970s. In exploring the world of environmentalism, she and co-writer Jon Raymond take a look at the intersection of action and idealism.
"I think it's a character film about these political people, more than I think of it as being a political film," Reichardt said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times ahead of the film's world premiere. "I want the movie to not have a political agenda. We were really just focused on these three characters, three imperfect people." Reichardt also referred to the film as a "crunchy noir."
Reichardt has become among the well-regarded filmmakers working on the American independent scene, even if her critical acclaim has well outpaced the box office returns of films such as "Old Joy," "Wendy and Lucy" and "Meek's Cutoff." That could potentially change with "Night Moves" -- in a review out of Venice, Variety critic Justin Chang called Reichardt's new film "her most accessible, plot-driven picture to date."
Cinedigm recently released "Short Term 12," which had its premiere this year at the South by Southwest film festival, picking up the jury and audience awards.
"Supermensch" looks at the story of Gordon, a larger-than-life music figure whom Myers met while negotiating for rights to an Alice Cooper song for a "Wayne's World" movie. Radius-TWC has found sleeper success with its current release "20 Feet From Stardom," about the world of backup singers.
Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus
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