Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. rights to Paul Dalio’s debut feature Touched With Fire, the Katie Holmes starrer that premiered at this year’s SXSW with the title Mania Days. The pic revolves around two bipolar poets whose art is fueled by their emotional extremes. When they meet in a psychiatric hospital, their romance brings out all the beauty and darkness of their condition until they have to choose between sanity and love. Holmes and Luke Kirby star along with Griffin Dunne, Christine Lahti and Bruce Altman. An early 2016 theatrical release is planned.
Dalio wrote, directed, edited and scored the movie based on his own experiences with bipolar disorder. Jeremy Alter and Kristina Nikolova Dalio, also co-cinematographer, produced. Spike Lee, Dalio’s professor at NYU Film School, is an executive producer.
The pic is selling international rights at Cannes.
The deal was negotiated by CAA and Craig Emanuel at Loeb & Loeb on behalf of the filmmakers and Howard Cohen on behalf of Roadside. The distrib is next up with the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy and Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes starring Ian McKellen and Laura Linney.