Crash: Lions Gate Films, the motion picture acquisition, production and distribution arm of Lions Gate Entertainment, has acquired all North American distribution rights from Bob Yari Productions, DEJ Productions Inc. and Bull's Eye Entertainment to Crash, the much buzzed about American feature film debut of acclaimed director Paul Haggis, it was announced today by Tom Ortenberg, President of Lions Gate Films Releasing.
Based on a screenplay written by Haggis and Robert Moresco, the film was financed by DEJ Productions Inc., ApolloProScreen and The Yari Film group. "Crash" is produced by Bull's Eye Entertainment's partners Cathy Schulman and Bob Yari as well as Don Cheadle, Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco and Mark R. Harris. Executive producers are DEJ Production's Andrew Reimer, Bull's Eye Entertainment's Tom Nunan and ApolloProScreen's Jan Korbellin and Marina Grasic. The film made its world premiere on September 10 to a standing room only crowd during the 29th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.
"Paul Haggis has delivered a provocative and striking feature film debut, which could not be timelier in this period of heightened race relations sensitivity and post 9/11 angst," said Ortenberg. "We are proud to be releasing what we feel is one of the most thought-provoking dramas in some time, with an incredibly talented and diverse ensemble cast," added Peter Block, President of Acquisitions, Co-Production and Television.
"I am thrilled that 'Crash' has found its distribution home with Lions Gate and that it occurred during the Toronto International Film Festival, this is a homecoming for me," stated the Canadian born Haggis. "This was a film that could not have come to fruition without the support and commitment of all of the producers and executive producers, but most importantly, it could not have come to life without the outstanding performances of each and every cast member. Their ability to come to grips with their own fears and internal struggles with hate and difference allowed us to create a film that I hope will resonate with everyone that sees it."
The deal was negotiated for Lions Gate by Block, Jason Constantine, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Ortenberg as well as Neil Sacker, COO of The Yari Film Group, on behalf of The Yari Film Group and Bull's Eye Entertainment, Andrew Reimer, President, DEJ Productions Inc and CAA. Sales in the foreign market are being handled by David Glasser and Lisa Wilson of Syndicate Films.
"Crash" is a deeply-felt meditation on hope and redemption in the wake of tragedy and loss of faith. The film's ensemble cast includes Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichter, Brendan Fraser, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillipe, and Larenz Tate. Directed by Paul Haggis, from a screenplay by Haggis and Bobby Moresco from a story by Haggis, produced by Cathy Schulman, Don Cheadle, Bob Yari, Mark R. Harris, Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis. Executive produced by Andrew Reimer, Tom Nunan, Jan Korbellin and Marina Grasic.