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Indie ‘Potato’ cooks up promo deal

Chipmaker Terra Blues signs onto marketing partnership

Indie coming of age drama “Blue Potato” has partnered with Terra Blues potato chips to promote and market the movie — even though the film hasn’t yet signed a distributor.

“Blue Potato” tells the story of 17-year-old (Callan McAuliffe), a headstrong teen working his final potato harvest to earn enough money to escape the pitfalls and boredom of his struggling northern Maine town while he fights to save his reckless best friend (Emory Cohen), who is drawn into smuggling illegal prescription drugs across the Canadian border with his outlaw father.

The blue potatoes used in making the Terra Blues chips are grown in Van Buren, Maine on a farm where production on “Blue Potato” took place int the fall. The Terra Blues chips are the official snack of JetBlue Airways.

“This is an incredibly rare opportunity to have this kind of unique partnership that allows for creative marketing that will now minimize risk, maximize our audience reach, and reduce the marketing costs that hinder so many other independent films as they’re distributed,” said Gita Pullapilly, who co-directed and co-wrote with Aron Gaudet.

Pullapilly told Variety that having a marketing partner already on board will make the film more attractive to distributors.

The deal between Sunny Side Up Films and The Hain Celestial Co. calls for Terra Chips to promote and market the movie on the Terra Blues potato chip packaging as well as significant marketing support during the film’s release.

Jared Simon of Hain Celestial said, “By collaborating with our farming partner, the LaJoie Growers family farm in northern Maine, a broad audience will be exposed to the wonderful blue potatoes that we utilize in our signature Terra Blues chips. The film will help showcase the hard work and dedication of family farmers to grow diverse crops that can be enjoyed by consumers around the country.”

“Blue Potato,” currently in post-production, also stars Aidan Gillen, W. Earl Brown, Carrie Preston, Sarah Sutherland and Zoe Levin.

Gaudet and Pullapilly teamed on the Emmy-nominated documentary “The Way We Get By” about a group of senior citizens who gather daily at a small airport to thank American soldiers departing and returning from Iraq.

George Cooke from Manatt, Phelps and Phillips negotiated the deal with Hain Celestial for Sunny Side Up Films.

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