Lionsgate has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Sarah Polley's critically acclaimed and audience pleasing drama Away From Her, it was jointly announced today by Lionsgate's President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Peter Block and President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg. The studio plans a Spring 2007 release.
Said Ortenberg, "It is an honor to be working with Sarah on her wonderfully accomplished feature writing and directing debut. Away From Her is a great, universal love story which we feel will be an early awards contender in multiple categories for next year. We are looking forward to working with Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss while also reuniting with producer Danny Iron, with whom we worked on The Red Violin."
Said Polley, "We were blown away by Lionsgate's enthusiasm for the film, and are completely thrilled by the prospect of working with them."
Said Iron, "It is exciting to be back in business with Lionsgate, a studio with unrivaled creativity, passion and intelligence. It is the perfect home for Away From Her."
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Ortenberg, Block, Jason Constantine, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Eda Kowan, Vice President of Acquisitions and by William Morris Independent and producer Danny Iron on behalf of the filmmakers.
HanWay Films are handling the international sales and distribution for Away From Her which has currently been sold in 26 other territories.
Away From Her is the lyrical screenplay adaptation of celebrated author Alice Munro's short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain. A beautifully moving love story that deals with memory and the circuitous, unnamable paths of a long marriage. Married for almost 50 years, Grant (Gordon Pinsent) and Fiona's (Julie Christie) commitment to each other appears unwavering, and their everyday life is full of tenderness and humor. This serenity is broken only by the occasional, carefully restrained reference to the past, giving a sense that this marriage may not always have been such a fairy tale. This tendency of Fiona's to make such references, along with her increasingly evident memory loss, creates a tension that is usually brushed off casually by both of them. As the lapses become more obvious and dramatic, it is no longer possible for either of them to ignore the fact that Fiona is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Away From Her also stars Wendy Crewson, Michael Murphy, Kristen Thomson, and Alberta Watson. A Film Farm and Foundry Films production in association with Capri Releasing, HanWay Films and Echo Lake Prods. Produced by Daniel Iron, Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss. Executive producer, Atom Egoyan, Doug Mankoff. Co-producer, Victoria Hirst.