Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Anchor Bay sails to City Island

Picks up rights to the dramedy from Raymond De Felitta

By Steven Zeitchik

June 18, 2009, 09:32 PM ET

Anchor Bay is taking a trip to "City Island."

The Overture sister company has picked up all rights in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand to the Tribeca Film Festival breakout from writer-director Raymond De Felitta.

Paradigm packaged and repped rights to the pic, which stars Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies and Emily Mortimer in a dramedy about a family on the quiet island off the New York coast.

The movie centers on a repressed corrections officer (Garcia) who harbors acting dreams but who gets caught in a series of misunderstandings when he brings home his secret adult son from a previous marriage to live with his family. The film's centerpiece is a riff from Garcia in which he auditions for a role in a Martin Scorsese movie.

Drawing the tag of a New York "Little Miss Sunshine" from media at Tribeca, "Island" was a crowd-pleaser at the festival, scoring its audience award.

De Felitta and Garcia also produced the movie, while the actor's real-life daughter Dominik Garcia-Lorido starred as his onscreen progeny. Lucky Monkey Pictures' Lauren Versel and FilmSmith's Zachary Matz also produced, while Paradigm's Andrew Ruf negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

Anchor Bay plans on a platform release in late '09 or early '10, with a wider rollout to follow.

"We're definitely going to take risks with it, start small and grow it wide," Anchor Bay president Bill Clark said. "Everyone who sees the film loves it, so we think we can capture a broad audience."

Anchor Bay, which is a division of Liberty Media's Starz unit, recently launched a theatrical unit to complement its home video business. The company also has picked up the Ashton Kutcher Sundance drama "Spread," which it plans on releasing in August, and overall aims to release eight to 10 theatrical movies a year

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