Love Etc., Jill Andresevic's acclaimed multi-character documentary depicting the many stages of modern metropolitan romance, will be distributed by Paladin, it was announced by company president and CEO, Mark Urman. The film, which is the first production from Jonathan Tisch's Walnut Hill Media, had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival last October, where it won the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary. Set entirely in New York, a city that it explores and embraces in glorious detail, the film will debut in exclusive Manhattan engagements in June before expanding nationally throughout the summer.
Filmed over the course of a year, Love Etc. is actually five different relationship stories-all of them real-combined in a single film. With characters ranging in age from 18 to 89, the youthful end of the spectrum is represented by high school sweethearts Gabriel and Danielle, whose first-love romance is tested as graduation nears. On the other end of the spectrum are Albert and Marion, octogenarian lovebirds whose chance meeting turned into a 50 year marriage, and who remain as enamored of one another today as they were when they first married. In between, are two men: Ethan, who is straight and the divorced father of two teenagers, and Scott, who is gay and single, and the soon-to-be father of twins. Despite their complicated lives, both are on a quest to find new partners and believe that love is only one blind date away. The final couple, Chitra and Mahendra, are engaged when we meet them- their big, traditional Indian wedding is the centerpiece of the film-but, once the honeymoon is over, the realities of marriage change and challenge their life together. A love letter to love itself, Andresevic's film celebrates the diversity of these couples, as well as the vast and varied city they inhabit.
About the film Urman says, "Love Etc. is as poignant, poetic, and polished as the best fiction, but has the added bonus of being completely real. I've never seen another documentary like it and, in fact, I think we need a new word to describe this utterly original--and enjoyable-- foray into non-fiction filmmaking."
Director Andresevic added, "While most documentaries are issue-based films, we decided to examine the universal subject of love through five storylines - all of which were documented over the course of a year as the subjects lives naturally unfolded. I believe we created a film that is both authentic and humorous, and feels like a real life romantic comedy, provoking thought, while still entertaining the audience." About the deal, Jeffrey Stewart, who produced along with Chiemi Karasawa and Andresevic, says, "We're so pleased to be in the very capable hands of Mark Urman, the distributor of such acclaimed films as Spellbound, Half Nelson, and Born into Brothels. Mark instantly understood and appreciated the fresh approach of the film and its broad appeal. We have complete confidence in Paladin and look forward to working together."
Love Etc. was produced by Walnut Hill Media, a company formed in 2008 by Stewart and Tisch, who served as executive producer on the film, and whose own visit to the City Hall Marriage Bureau to obtain a marriage license in 2007 -- an occasion defined by a broad range of couples all united by their common belief in love -- provided the initial inspiration for their maiden production. Since then, Walnut Hill has completed another documentary, New York Says Thank You, which is expected to be released later this year.
In current release for Paladin is Tom Shadyac's I Am, which was successfully launched in Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco and which opens in Los Angeles on March 11th and New York on March 18th. The company recently announced that it will release the Broadway-themed comedy, Meeting Spencer, starring Jeffrey Tambor, on April 8th as well as Steven Peros' Hollywood-set fable Footprints, which is set for an April 15th opening.