ARC Entertainment acquired North American distribution rights to Matthew Lillard’s directorial debut Fat Kid Rules The World, a comedy that won the Narrative Feature Spotlight Audience Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival. The film will be launched through a social media strategy that includes a $150,000 P&A spend raised through Kickstarter. Pic stars Jacob Wysocki, Matt O’Leary, and Billy Campbell. Lillard, last seen in The Descendants, made his directing debut on a film based on the K.L. Going novel.

The protagonist is 17, overweight, and suicidal, and when he’s about to jump in front of a bus, he’s saved by a charming street musician. The two begin an uneasy friendship when Marcus enlists the musically challenged kid to become the drummer in a new punk rock band. The youth’s father becomes increasingly concerned about his son’s new friendship.

“We are proud to share Matthew Lillard’s directorial debut — the film is smart, relevant and has already proven itself to be a fan favorite”, commented ARC Entertainment’s Trevor Drinkwater. ARC, Whitewater and Lillard are launching the theatrical distribution via The Vans Warped Tour and this summer. Through a series of promotional events and public appearances on the Warped Tour, Lillard will directly engage the film’s punk rock fan base so they can set up Tugg screenings of the film along the course of the tour.

Said Lillard: “We chose ARC, Vans Warped Tour and Tugg because this is a film about the kids on the fringe — the outsiders. We wanted to find a way to cut through the Hollywood machine and connect directly with those kids and let them shape the destiny of our movie. So, Tugg the Fat Kid — we made this film for you. I hope you dig it.” The film features original songs and score created by Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready. Paradigm brokered the film deal.