Monterey Media has acquired North American distribution rights to indie drama Memoria starring Sam Dillon, Thomas Mann, and James Franco. The film, written and directed by Nina Ljeti and Vladimir de Fontenay and based on a short story by Franco, had its world premiere today at the Austin Film Festival, with Franco in attendance.

Monterey will release the film, produced by Rabbit Bandini Productions and Burn Later Productions with The Art of Elysium, next year in theaters across the United States.

Memoria tells the story of Ivan Cohen (Dillon), an anti-social, self-conscious boy living in the suburbs of Palo Alto, CA. Unable to get along with his dysfunctional mother (Julia Emelin) and stepfather (Matt McCoy), he retreats to a world of military combat within the confines of his bedroom, struggling to find his place in the world and dreaming of the father who left before he was born. Franco plays a teacher at the boy’s school.

The film is the third in Monterey’s release line-up in conjunction with The Art of Elysium (following Yosemite and Forever), and the second with Rabbit Bandini (Yosemite). The Art of Elysium is a non-profit organization that brings the arts to hospitalized youth, elders and the homeless community. All proceeds from the film goes to the non-profit.

“James and I are thrilled that Memoria is the second film to be released with the Rabbit Bandini/The Art of Elysium partnership,” said Vince Jolivette, partner (with Franco) of Rabbit Bandini. “These films are so special to us because they bring together our passion for giving young, talented artists such as Nina and Vlad the chance to create, (with) our love for philanthropy and our production company.”

“We’re thrilled to have Monterey Media distribute this compelling coming-of-age story,” said Jennifer Howell, Founder, The Art of Elysium. “They recognize the potential of this film and will help bring it to a wider audience.”

Jere Rae-Mansfield, CFO & Managing Partner, Monterey Media said the Austin Film Festival “is the ideal venue to announce the theatrical acquisition of Memoria and the perfect audience to appreciate the Memoria premiere. Our past experiences with the Art of Elysium and Rabbit Bandini Productions have been outstanding.”

The deal was negotiated for Monterey Media by Scott Mansfield and, on behalf of the film, by Jolivette and Howell. Rabbit Bandini Productions was founded in 2003 by Jolivette and Franco.