Sundance: IFC Jumps For 'The Ledge'

EXCLUSIVE: IFC closed a deal for distribution rights to The Ledge, the Matthew Chapman-directed drama that stars Sons Of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard and Christopher Gorham.

I’m told IFC paid low 7-figures for US rights, a high sum for the distributor. Hunnam plays a young hotel manager ready to jump and end his life. Howard plays the detective trying to talk him down, but he’s been through a lot, too, and is equally conflicted about life being worth living. Wrekin Hill, Anchor Bay, ATO all chased the film, and after Anchor Bay made a low seven-figure offer, which prompted IFC to top it, leading to the indie’s largest deal to date. IFC is also one of those looking seriously at the fun Roger Corman doc Corman’s World. The drama was being compared by buyers to being a kindred spirit to last year’s Sundance breakout Blue Valentine. The deal was brokered by Cassian Elwes and Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina, and IFC’s Arianna Bacco. Here’s the release:

Park City, UT (January 24, 2011) – IFC FILMS announced today from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival that the company acquired the U.S. rights to THE LEDGE. The film, which is playing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition premiered this past Friday. THE LEDGE, directed and written by Matthew Chapman, stars Charlie Hunnam (SONS OF ANARCHY), Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard, and Christopher Gorham (UGLY BETTY). The film is produced by Mark Damon and Michael Mailer.

In this race-against-time thriller, the opposing philosophies of two men embroiled in a complicated love triangle with a beautiful woman (Tyler) escalate into a lethal battle of wills. Ultimately, the believer (Wilson) forces the non-believer (Hunnam) onto the ledge of a tall building. He gives him one hour to make a choice between his own life and someone else’s, a while a policeman (Howard) tries to convince him to come down. Without faith of an afterlife, will he be capable of such a sacrifice? THE LEDGE is a nuanced character study of love and conviction that will force you to ask how far you’d be willing to go for what you believe in.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “THE LEDGE is a well crafted and morally complex thriller that will really get people talking.”

“These days, there are many new and innovative ways to distribute a film, and new techniques are constantly evolving. IFC is at the forefront of cutting edge independent distribution, and it is their unique approach that convinced us they were the right theatrical distributor for THE LEDGE,” says producer Mark Damon.

Adds director Matthew Chapman, ” Having watched THE LEDGE play to audiences in Sundance and seeing their reactions, I believe that with the help of IFC Films we will reach the widest audience possible, which was always my intention.”

The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films and Betsy Rodgers, Vice President of Business and Legal Afffairs for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Cassian Elwes and Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content, on behalf of Foresight Unlimited.

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