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Lionsgate Gets ‘Away From Her’

The big stars may be feeling left in the lurch as the Toronto International Film Festival plows forward, but independents and up-and-comers have continued to take center stage and garner strong distribution deals. Lionsgate Entertainment, the leader in independent film distribution announced on Wednesday that they have penned a deal with newcomer Sarah Polley for her feature-length directorial debut Away From Her which preemed on Monday night.

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> Sarah Polley
> Julie Christie
> Olympia Dukakis

> Lionsgate Films

> Toronto film festival

The big stars may be feeling left in the lurch as the Toronto International Film Festival plows forward, but independents and up-and-comers have continued to take center stage and garner strong distribution deals. Lionsgate Entertainment, the leader in independent film distribution announced on Wednesday that they have penned a deal with newcomer Sarah Polley for her feature-length directorial debut Away From Her which preemed on Monday night.

The flick stars Julie Christy as an Alzheimer’s patient placed in an institution who begins to turn from her cheating husband to another patient played by Michael Murphy. The cast includes Oscar® winning actress Olympia Dukakis as Marian. The film garnered critical and audience acclaim after its Monday night screening an Lionsgate Films wasted no time in garnering the rights. In a press release issued by Lionsgate, President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg said “It is an honor to be working with Sarah on her wonderfully accomplished feature writing and directing debut. AWAY FROM HER is a great, universal love story which we feel will be an early awards contender in multiple categories for next year.” Said Polley in a separate statement “We were blown away by Lionsgate’s enthusiasm for the film, and are completely thrilled by the prospect of working with them.”

The film is slated for a spring 2007 release and has already been tentatively scheduled for distribution in 26 in international countries and territories in addition to the North American deal. Polley is a Gemini and Genie award winning actor, writer and director with a strong reputation in Canada. Away From Her marks her feature film debut and was penned by Polley from the Alice Munro short story, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”.

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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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