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Trimark acquires ‘Songcatcher’

Fall bow planned for Sundance prize winner

Following a protracted negotiation process, Trimark Pictures has acquired North American rights to the Sundance pic “Songcatcher” for low seven figures.

Pic, which stars Golden Globe winner and Oscar-nominated Janet McTeer (“Tumbleweeds”), won Sundance’s special jury prize for outstanding ensemble performance. A fall release is planned.

Maggie Greenwald (“The Ballad of Little Jo”) wrote and directed the pic, which was produced by Ellen Rigas Venetis and Richard Miller (“Heavy”) through their Gotham-based Ergo Arts.

Describing McTeer’s performance as “extraordinary,” Trimark’s Dennis O’Connor, senior veep of theatrical distribution. said that “Songcatcher” “opens up a window to a world that we haven’t seen before. This was one of the only films at Sundance we went after..”

“Songcatcher” also stars Aidan Quinn, Pat Carroll, Jane Adams, Gregory Cook and Iris Dement.

Pic is centered on the academic world at the turn of the century. When musicologist Dr. Lily Penleric (McTeer) is denied a promotion in the male-dominated university in which she teaches, she heads to Appalachia equipped with a recording device. This leads to a startling discovery that could change her career.

Last weekend, Trimark released “Beautiful People”; pic will expand to 20 markets on March 1. On April 21, the company will open “The Last September,” directed by Deborah Warner and starring Maggie Smith and Fiona Shaw.

Trimark is also in post on the inhouse production “Skipped Parts,” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Drew Barrymore and Brad Renfro and directed by Cameron Davis.

The producers’ deal was negotiated by John Sloss of Sloss Law; Trimark’s end of the pact was handled by the company’s Peter Block, exec veep of domestic distribution.