Lot 47 buys ‘Jack’ rights

Docu chronicles life of folk music icon Elliott

Lot 47 Films has acquired all North American rights to “The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack,” the Sundance award-winning documentary from first-time filmmaker Aiyana Elliott.

Winner of the Sundance special jury prize for artistic achievement, “Ramblin’ Jack” chronicles the life of director Elliott’s father, seminal folk music icon Jack Elliott. Lot 47 plans a fall release, and negotiations for the soundtrack album are under way.

In addition to contemporary and archival Ramblin’ Jack performances, film features rare footage from D.A. Pennebaker, Bob Dylan and Alan Lomax as well as interviews with Arlo Guthrie, Kris Kristofferson and Pete Seeger.

“Ramblin’ Jack” was co-written and produced by the director with Dick Dahl. Paul Mezey and Dan Partland also produced along with Plantain Films partners Hunter Gray and Tyler Brodie and Jesse Crawford of Crawford Communications.

“‘Ramblin’ Jack’ is not only a great American story, but it is the funny and tempestuous tale of a father and his daughter,” Lot 47 president Jeff Lipsky said. “It is also simply an astounding first film and great first films are the meat-and-potatoes of any independent film distributor,” he added.

“What was particularly gratifying at Sundance was that something I thought was a unique story turned out to be so universal,” Elliot said. “Jeff Lipsky recognized the broad appeal of the film and wasn’t scared off by the fact that it happens to be a documentary. We’re overjoyed to be working with him.”

Lipsky recently exited his post as head of marketing, acquisitions and distribution at Samuel Goldwyn Films to focus on building Lot 47, the indie distributor he launched last year with his brother, Scott Lipsky (Daily Variety, March 2). Lot 47’s first title, Tim Roth’s award-winning “The War Zone,” is now in general release. Lot 47 will also release Tonie Marshall’s award-winning French-language comedy “Venus beaute (institut)” later this year.

Negotiations for “Ramblin’ Jack” were handled on behalf of the filmmakers by Steven C. Beer of Rudolph & Beer and by Lot 47’s Lipsky.

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