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Acquisitions – Indie Films

Gravitas Ventures Find Late Bloomer in Carter Smith’s “Jamie Marks Is Dead”

Some Sundance titles take their sweet time making a deal — just this week we’ve had two other 2014 Sundance title announcements. Unlike, say Michael Tully’s Ping Pong Summer, which Gravitas Ventures picked up when there was still snow in Park City, it is now Carter Smith’s long-awaited sophomore pic that has been snapped up by the day & date label. Indiewire reports that Jamie Marks Is Dead will receive a theatrical/VOD release on August 29th.

Gist: Based on the novel One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak, in a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie—a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him.

Worth Noting: Judy Greer and Liv Tyler are among the supporting cast.

Do We Care?: A hard sell for its unique multi-genre template (this mixes coming-of-age, living-dead, occult, high school love triangles, blurred gender attraction) I’m not surprised that it took a while to find a suitor. Yet, I found myself going against the critical grain, actually finding myself engaged with what is an inoffensive, atmospherically superior to his debut, The Ruins second filmFeaturing a strong turn from Cameron Monaghan, this is easily among my guilty pleasures of the year. Look forward to my second go at this. 

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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