BYINGTON’S “SOMEBODY” AND CASSIDY & SHATZKY’S “FRANCINE” GET PICKED UP
Today two recent festival favorites, Bob Byington’s Somebody Up There Likes Me and Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s Francine, found distribution.
Somebody, which stars Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman and former “25 New Face” Jess Weixler, premiered at SXSW earlier this year and has now been picked up by Tribeca Film, to be released in Spring 2013. The fifth feature from Byington (Harmony and Me, RSO [Registered Sex Offender]), it is about a trio of friends (Offerman, Weixler and regular Byington collaborator Keith Poulson) who waste their lives on meaningless relationships as time ebbs away. Geoff Gilmore, the former Sundance head who is now Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, said of the movie, “Somebody Up There Likes Me displays all the quirkiness, personality, and distinction that defines independent filmmaking. Infused with a biting, dry sense of humor and filled with wonderful performances from a talented cast, Bob Byington’s latest film reaffirms his reputation for being one of the most wonderfully idiosyncratic directors at work today. Although the destination is familiar, the path that Byington charts is unexpected, strange and utterly unique.”
Francine, the first narrative feature from Brooklyn-based Cassidy and Shatzky (who, like Weixler, were on our “25 New Faces” list in 2007), is another recent hit on the fest circuit, premiering at Berlin and subsequently playing SXSW and BAMcinemaFest. (Cassidy and Shatzky’s The Patron Saints, their documentary feature debut, is also playing fests at the moment.) Today it was announced that Factory 25 will be releasing Francine this fall, starting with a week-long run at MoMA on September 12. Starring recent Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) in the title role, it centers on “a woman struggling to find her place in a downtrodden lakeside town after leaving behind a life in prison.”