Tag Archives: Acquisitions


MEND_mattsmoking_760x318_webJosh Lucas in THE MEND


By Ross A. Lincoln and Amanda N’Duka
April 8, 2015

Cinelicious Pics has snatched up all North American rights for The Mend, the debut film from director John Magary. Starring Josh Lucas, Stephen Plunkett, Lucy Owen, Mickey Sumner, Austin Pendleton, Cory Nichols, Louisa Krause, Leo Fitzpatrick and Sarah Steele, The Mend is a trippy comedy about a pair of NYC-based brothers stumbling through relationships, family and their own manhood. From Moxie Pictures in association with Discount Films, it’s produced by Myna Joseph and Michael Prall, executive produced by Robert Fernandez, Dan Levinson, Michael Hacker and Susannah Hacker, and presented for its North American release by Pineapple Express helmer David Gordon Green. The deal was negotiated by Kristine Blumensaadt, Dennis Bartok, and David Marriott, all of Cinelicious, with Traction Media’s Maren Olson on behalf of the filmmakers.

INDIEWIRE: Cinelicious Pics is bringing two rarely seen Agnès Varda gems to a new generation of audiences.

Agnès Varda and Jane Birkin in JANE B. PAR ANGES V.

indiewire_toh_logo_286x50by Ryan Lattanzio | TOH!


LA cinephiles had the pleasures of seeing two Agnès Varda discoveries from the middle of her career, and of seeing the legendary French filmmaker speak, at an American Cinematheque retrospective this past weekend.

Cinelicious Pics has just acquired the double bill “Jane B. by Agnès V.” and “Kung-Fu Master,” both starring Euro icon Jane Birkin, for US theatrical, VOD and Home Video distribution. Supervised by Varda, the new restorations made their West Coast debut over the weekend, and looked gorgeous in digital 2K.

Less a biopic than a quasi-fiction, poetic-realist documentary, “Jane B. By Agnes V” looks at the actress’ many faces. Really, it’s Varda’s “Orlando,” a time-hopping stitching together of Birkin’s best and least-favorite roles, and the parts she dreams of playing (including Joan of Arc). The film features Birkin’s longtime collaborator and erstwhile lover Serge Gainsbourg, New Wave actor Jean-Pierre Léaud (a.k.a. Antoine Doinel), Birkin’s daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg (who went on to star in the films of Lars von Trier) and Varda’s son Mathieu Demy, whom she had with her filmmaker-husband Jacques Demy.

Mathieu Demy and Charlotte Gainsbourg in KUNG FU MASTER

A young Mathieu Demy and 14-year-old Charlotte Gainsbourg also appear in Varda’s challenging romance “Kung Fu Master,” which stretches the “May-December” definition to its extremes. Aside from a video game that Demy’s early-teens Julien obsessively plays, the film has nothing to do with kung fu. Instead, the 40-year-old Birkin plays the single mother of two who falls in love with him. Their relationship is treated very matter-of-factly by Varda, who imbues it with a tenderness that is well-played, and earnestly acted, by Demy and Birkin.

At the Aero Theatre on Saturday, Varda said she wrote the film in “two minutes” after Birkin pitched the story to her during the making of “Jane B.” They took a break on that production and shot “Kung-Fu” quickly in the summer. Varda, who most famously directed “Cleo From 5 to 7” and “The Gleaners and I,” didn’t feel weird about directing her young son as the object of a much older woman’s affections. “From the minute we started to film, he was Julien.”

According to Varda, “Kung-Fu Master” hasn’t played much on French TV due to its controversial subject matter. The film also deals head-on with the rise of AIDS in the ’80s, interjecting its whimsical broken-fairytale romance with PSAs about sexual awareness and the disease’s ever-growing reach.

When asked if “Jane B.” (never released in the US) and “Kung-Fu” (released briefly in the 80s) belong together as a double bill, Varda said, “I don’t think so. They’re two separate films.” She may be right, but it’s a treat we get to see them at all, and newly resurrected from their original 35mm negatives.

Release dates forthcoming.

INDIEWIRE: Cinelicious Pics Restoring Animated Masterpiece BELLADONNA OF SADNESS for U.S. Release


October 29, 2014 | 9:00AM PT

Cinelicious Pics has signed an exclusive deal to restore and distribute the long-unavailable 1973 Japanese animated masterpiece BELLADONNA OF SADNESS, as its first major restoration and re-release. The last film in the groundbreaking Animerama trilogy produced by the godfather of Japanese anime & manga, Osamu Tezuka (METROPOLIS, ASTRO BOY) and directed by his long time Belladonna_Of_Sadness_Poster_760x1089collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto, BELLADONNA is a mad, swirling, psychedelic lightshow of medieval tarot-card imagery with horned demons and haunted forests. Never before released in the U.S., BELLADONNA OF SADNESS unfolds as a series of spectacular still watercolor paintings that bleed and twist together like an animated version of Chris Marker’s LA JETEE. Cinelicious will restore the feature using the original 35mm camera negative and sound elements in anticipation of a 2015 theatrical, VOD, and home video re-release in North America.

Cinelicious Pics, which launched earlier this year, is uniquely positioned to restore film through its parent company Cinelicious. “It took months of negotiations to convince the Japanese rightsholders to entrust us with the original camera negative of the film which we’re restoring in-house,” says Cinelicious Pics’ President Paul Korver. “People will be simply blown away by the wild, hallucinatory images and soundtrack,” he adds. “BELLADONNA OF SADNESS belongs on a short list with Rene Laloux’s FANTASTIC PLANET and Ralph Bakshi’s WIZARDS as one of the trippiest animated films ever conceived,” adds Cinelicious Pics’ EVP of Acquisitions & Distribution Dennis Bartok. “This is a major rediscovery – and I have to give credit to Hadrian Belove at The Cinefamily here in L.A. for bringing the film to our attention.”

Belladonna_Of_Sadness_Face_760x570An innocent young woman, Jean (voiced by Katsutaka Ito) is savagely assaulted by the local lord on her wedding night. To take revenge, she makes a pact with the Devil himself (voiced by Tatsuya Nakadai, from Akira Kurosawa’s RAN) who appears as an erotic sprite and transforms her into a black-robed vision of madness and desire. The film is fueled by a Japanese psych rock soundtrack by Masahiko Sato. The deal was negotiated by Cinelicious Pics’ President Paul Korver, President of Business Affairs Kristine Blumensaadt and EVP Dennis Bartok with Japanese rightsholders Gold View Co. and Mushi Productions.

VARIETY: Josephine Decker’s ‘Butter’ and ‘Lovely’ Bought by Cinelicious

Mild and Lovely

SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 | 09:29AM PT
Carole Horst

Cinelicious Pics has acquired all North American rights to Josephine Decker’s “Butter on the Latch” and “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely,” above.

A theatrical and VOD release is planned for November.

Tyro distrib Cinelicious Pics aims to bring an eclectic mix of U.S. indie and foreign features and docs to auds via theatrical release, VOD and Blu-ray. It also handles 4K-restored arthouse and cult classics, brought to pristine viewing quality by sister post and digital restoration studio Cinelicious.

The deal was negotiated by Cinelicious Pics’ president Paul Korver, president of business affairs Kristine Blumensaadt and exec VP Dennis Bartok, with Ben Weiss and Meghan Oliver from Paradigm and Craig F. Cohen of McCue Sussmane & Zapfel.

“Paul and I are incredibly excited to be working with Josephine on her first two features, which have a beautiful, sensual, poetic and intensely visual style that sets her apart from many indie filmmakers today,” says Bartok. “Her work reminds me in a wonderful way of filmmakers like David Lynch and Nicolas Roeg but with a voice all her own.”

“I’m thrilled to be bursting out of the gate with a company who is also hurtling into new territory,” says Decker. “The guys at Cinelicious are passionate, visionary film lovers, incredibly hard workers and just good people. I feel very lucky to be working with them.”

DEADLINE: Cinelicious Pics, Adi Shankar Banking On “Tarantino Of Bollywood” With 5 1/2 Hour Crime Epic ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’


JULY 7, 2014 | 2:05PM PT
Jen Yamoto

EXCLUSIVE: After launching in June, newbie indie/art house distributor Cinelicious Pics has struck a deal to bring acclaimed five-and-a-half-hour Bollywood new wave crime epic Gangs of Wasseypur to North America. The film is the latest from Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday, Dev D, Ugly, and Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna), the Indian filmmaker whose bullets ‘n’ blood-soaked saga has earned him a reputation as the Scorsese/Tarantino of Bollywood.

Kashyap co-wrote, produced, and directed the Godfather-esque pic tracking 70 violent years in the lives of two mafia families battling for control over the coal mining town of Wasseypur, based on the real-life gang wars between two families in the cash-strapped industrial region. Cinelicious will release the film this fall in NY and LA in two parts, to be presented stateside by film producer Adi Shankar (The Grey, Lone Survivor).

So how does a neophyte specialty distributor strategize the release of a 319-minute foreign language picture? One of the film’s producers, Guneet Monga, produced The Lunchbox, the Irrfan Khan starrer that’s become the most successful foreign-language movie of 2014 in the States. Monga and Kashyap turned to Indian-born Shankar to help bring Gangs to the action-hungry U.S. audiences that connected with his R-rated actioners Dredd, Killing Them Softly, Machine Gun Preacher, and The Grey as well as the viral Marvel superhero fan videos Shankar has produced and released online. Shankar will boost the pic to his fan base online and at events like New York Comic-Con in October, where he’s scheduled to appear.

adi-shankar“Gangs is such an important and monumental movie for my people – it marks our emergence as an international cinematic powerhouse,” said Shankar. “America has The Godfather, Korea has Oldboy, Japan has Battles Without Honor & Humanity, Hong Kong has Infernal Affairs, Brazil has City of God, and now India has Gangs of Wasseypur.”

LA-based Cinelicious Pics, which opened its doors this summer under film restoration expert Paul Korver and former American Cinematheque programmer Dennis Bartok, will take cues from last year’s two-parter theatrical release of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. Gangs will launch in a platform release in New York and LA with Part I and Part II hitting theaters a week apart, while theaters will have the option to screen both parts in a single five-and-a-half-hour block. Cinelicious is also hoping to draft off buzz for Kashyap’s James Ellroy-inspired neo-noir Bombay Velvet, which 20th Century Fox is releasing worldwide November 28.

Inspired by the multi-generational power struggle between the families of Fahim Khan and Shabir Alam, Gangs begins in the 1940s with the bandit-like career of Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) and continues through the ruthless rise of his son Sardar (Manoj Bajpayee) and his offspring, the surreally-named Danish, Perpendicular and Definitive Khans, as well as their numerous wives and girlfriends. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tigmanshu Dhulia also star in the sprawling pic which features a Filmfare Awards-nominated score by Sneha Khanwalkar. The film world-premiered in Cannes in 2012 before opening in India, where it was met with protest from local Wasseypur figures, and released in the UK, France, Spain, and other territories.

“Gangs of Wasseypur is definitely India’s Great Crime Film and a watershed moment for Indian cinema in general,” said Bartok. “I’m an enormous fan of contemporary and classic Indian cinema, which for U.S. audiences is still criminally unknown. Gangs of Wasseypur should change all that. The film combines the best of Scorsese, Leone and Tarantino into an incredibly kinetic saga filled with moments of unexpected tenderness and shocking violence. Even at 5 1/2 hours, you never want it to end.”

From Director Kashyup: “I had always wanted to make a film about the parts of India unexplored in cinema, the parts of India where I grew up. When the writer Zeishan Quadri told me about this speck of an industrial town Wasseypur, I was shocked to learn how local families became powerful organized crime syndicates over a period of decades. More than what the mafia did, I became obsessed with why they did it. These family grudges continued for years, often-times with the younger generation not knowing why. I am thrilled that the film continues to find new audiences now in the US, and I look forward to audience reactions to it. “

“When we set out to make Gangs of Wasseypur as a passion project, we had no idea the impact it would have on audiences around the world,” adds producer Guneet Monga. “Not only is it a portrait of a small town politics, it’s a historical tale of the rough transition from post-colonial India to the privatized and often corruption-filled independent state that perseveres to today.”

Cinelicious Pics President Paul Korver, President of Business Affairs Kristine Blumensaadt, EVP Dennis Bartok and India Acquisitions Coordinator Anu Rangachar negotiated the deal with French sales agent Elle Driver on behalf of producers Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, along with consultant Ben Rekhi.