After stoking audiences and critics at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Janicza Bravo’s feature directorial comedy debut Lemon has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures for North American distribution. The film plays SXSW tonight and Magnolia will open the film later this year.
Bravo co-wrote Lemon with her husband Brett Gelman who also stars in the movie as Isaac, a 40-year old wannabe actor who life is going nowhere with a small theater production. His blind girlfriend of ten years (Judy Greer) is leaving him, and his family has just had their fill of Isaac. The poor guy’s life is unraveling despite his big dreams. Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Fred Melamed, Jon Daly, Rhea Perlman, David Paymer, Gillian Jacobs, Martin Starr and Marla Gibbs also star.
Bravo’s short Gregory Go Boom, which also starred Gelman and Cera, won the Short Film Jury Award for Fiction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. After Lemon premiered at Sundance in January, it opened the 46th International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Lemon was produced by David Bernon, Paul Bernon and Sam Slater of Burn Later Productions (The Intervention, Adult Beginners, Drinking Buddies) with Han West and Houston King. David Hinojosa and Christine Vachon from Killer Films served as EPs along with Bravo and Gelman. Rowan Riley is a Co-Producer on the film. Burn Later previously partnered with Magnolia on Drinking Buddies and their pic Result.
The deal was negotiated by Magnolia co-EVP Dori Begley and SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden with ICM Partners and UTA on behalf of the filmmakers.