Trimark OKs ‘Bayou’ for fall U.S. release

Trimark Pictures has confirmed that it will distribute the Southern drama “Eve’s Bayou,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Lynn Whitfield, on a worldwide basis (Daily Variety, Aug. 30).The $6 million-budgeted film, which also stars Diahann Carroll, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Debbi Morgan and Roger Guenveur Smith, recently finished shooting near New Orleans.

The company expects to release the picture domestically next fall; international sales will began at the upcoming AFM in February.

The film is produced by Caldecot Chubb and Jackson. Exec producers are Addis-Wechsler’s Nick Wechsler, Eli Elden and Julie Yorn.

First-time writer-director

Written and directed by first-time helmer Kasi Lemmons, “Eve’s Bayou” is the story of an eccentric family in a predominantly black Louisiana town, as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl (Jurnee Smollett).

The project was brought into Trimark by Bobby Rock, VP of acquisitions.

Trimark chairman Mark Amin describes the emotional, multi-generational tale as an African-American equivalent of “Terms of Endearment.”

Two target auds

The company plans to target both traditional specialized audiences and African-Americans, according to Amin.

“African-Americans have so far been served almost exclusively by comedies and urban action films,” he said. “This is an audience that is going to be demanding more intelligent and sophisticated material.”

Chubb expressed confidence in the ability of Trimark’s newly enhanced domestic theatrical distribution arm to market the film, which he said is “not a standard piece of material.

“It’s quite dangerous to the moral choices we all make,” added Chubb. “All of the characters are locked into a series of choices which have profound and surprising consequences.”

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