108 Media, Paladin plan March release
108 Media and Paladin have acquired all North American rights to Michel Gondry’s “The We and I,” four months after it was the opening night presentation at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes.An early March opening in New York and Toronto is planned with major markets to follow. The deal is the first since 108 Media announced on Aug. 24 that it had formed a partnership with Paladin to jointly distribute films in North America with an initial slate of five titles that 108 Media had acquired over the past several months. The first title to go into release in the U.S. will be the documentary “Buffalo Girls,” which will open in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles in December as part of its Academy qualifying run. Pic’s North American premiere is taking place at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. The film, set on the last day of the school year, follows a group of Bronx high schoolers who board a city bus on their way home with summer break ahead of them. In the course of one afternoon, their friendships, rivalries, ambitions, and anxieties are revealed. Producers are Gondry, Julie Fong, Raffi Adlan and Georges Bermann. Gondry worked on the project with students at a neighborhood after-school arts program in the Bronx. The script (which Gondry wrote with Jeffrey Grimshaw and Paul Proch) creates a vision of the life the student live and the future that awaits them. Mark Urman of Paladin and 108 Media CEO Abhi Rastogi negotiated the deal with WME Global, which represented the producers. Kinology is selling the rest of the world. Film has already been sold in more than 15 territories.