‘Man in Uniform’ fits I.R.S.

I.R.S. Releasing has acquired U.S. theatrical distribution rights to the Canadian thriller “I Love a Man in Uniform,” which made its U.S. debut Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, the company said.

The transaction is one of the first major deals announced during Sundance, and I.R.S. hopes to build on the Park City momentum with a spring theatrical release. Following Friday’s debut, the movie is skedded to screen again today and Saturday at Sundance.

Directed and written by David Wellington, and produced by Paul Brown, “I Love a Man in Uniform” is about a bank clerk and aspiring actor who lands a part as a policeman in a reality-based television series, and becomes addicted to the power and authority of the uniform.

I.R.S. president Paul Co-lichman said the company hopes release of the pic will have a similar impact for filmmaker Wellington as such previous releases as “One False Move,””Gas Food Lodging” and “Music of Chance” have had for directors Carl Franklin, Allison Anders and Philip Haas.

The movie is linchpinned by a critically acclaimed performance from Tom McCamus, who stars opposite Brigitte Bako and Kevin Tighe. “I Love a Man in Uniform” was executive produced by Alexandra Raffe.

I.R.S. Releasing consultant Seth Willenson said the combination of “effective urban violence and psychological transforma-tion” in “I Love a Man in Uniform” bolsters the company’s belief that the pic can perform as a “strong art movie.” He said the theatrical release will be targeted and tested on a market-by-market basis.

“I.R.S. philosophy is to have art movies in theatrical distribution and commercial movies through the ancillaries,” Willenson said. “There is a viable theatrical releasing pattern that can launch an independent movie in the art/speciality network.”

Involved in the project are international and Canadian distributor Alliance Communications Corp., U.S. video distributor Unipix, Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Film Development Corp. and producer Brown. Prints and advertising on the movie will be financed by the producers and investors.

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