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IFC, Leary team on Ted Demme tribute pic

Comic to write, exec produce cable special

HOLLYWOOD — The Independent Film Channel has commissioned “In Search of Ted Demme,” a tribute to the late indie director of features including “Blow,” “Beautiful Girls” and “The Ref.”

Denis Leary, who worked with Demme on “The Ref,” “Snitch” and HBO special “Denis Leary: Lock ‘N’ Load,” pitched the idea to the cable net in March. He will write and exec produce the special with Richard LaGravenese. Jim Serpico and Amanda Scheer-Demme also will exec produce the tribute, to be directed by John Walter.

LaGravenese last teamed with Demme and IFC for the multipart doc “A Decade Under the Influence.”

“Ted was a great face for IFC,” said Alison Bourke, cabler’s director of original programming. Demme hosted the net’s signature film strand “Escape From Hollywood” for four years.

Among those slated to appear in the special are Harvey Weinstein, Jerry Bruckheimer, Kevin Spacey, Johnny Depp, Martin Sheen, Jon Stewart, Doug Herzog, Joel Silver and Jonathan Demme, Ted’s uncle.

“The fact that so many people are wanting to participate, I think, is a tribute to both an incredible filmmaker and an amazing person,” Bourke said.

Channel will seek a film fest life for the pic before airing it on the channel in the fourth quarter of next year.

“This project is a labor of love. I’d like to think that if Ted were able to make a film about himself, it would look like this,” Leary said.

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