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‘Memento’ set to launch Newmarket distrib’n

Nolan-helmed pic piques other indies' interest

TORONTO — Will Tyrer and Chris Ball’s Newmarket Group will launch its domestic distribution arm with the March 9 release of the Newmarket-produced “Memento,” starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss. Pic unspooled in the Toronto Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema section.

Veteran marketer, distributor and exhibitor Bob Berney will serve as marketing and distribution consultant on the title, duplicating his efforts for the release of the Good Machine production “Happiness.”

Directed by Christopher Nolan (“Following”), “Memento” concerns a husband who is obsessed with tracking and punishing the man who murdered his wife. He must, however, contend with a form of amnesia that wipes out his memory every 15 minutes.

Pic drew interest from a number of indie distributors since it first screened for distribs just before the Cannes Film Festival, with offers from Paramount Classics and Trimark Pictures. But Newmarket ultimately decided to use the pic as a springboard for its own domestic distribution.

Nolan adapted the screenplay from a short story written by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd produced the film, with Aaron Ryder serving as exec producer.

Newmarket plans an aggressive platform release in the top 30-40 markets, topping out at 100-125 prints. “The response to this picture has been incredible,” Berney said. “I feel the film has a chance at crossing over in the larger cities.”

Although no other titles have been announced for the newly established distrib, it’s likely that Newmarket will retain Berney in his capacity as a consultant.

Berney recently oversaw the theatrical release of Sundance Film Festival entry “The Woman Chaser” through his own shingle, Inwood Films, and recently closed an exclusive distribution deal through Hollywood Video.

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