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Strand nabs ‘Ellie’ rights

Distrib company picks up Watts pic

Indie distribber Strand Releasing has scooped up North American rights to the Hollywood comedy “Ellie Parker,” which screened at Sundance this year and stars Naomi Watts as an actress struggling for happiness and a career.

Rebecca Rigg, Mark Pellegrino, Scott Coffey and Chevy Chase also star in the pic, which was written and directed by Coffey.

Coffey produced with Watts.

Pick-up comes after Strand sealed a deal earlier in Cannes to distrib the indie pic “Loggerheads.”

“Parker” originally arrived at Sundance as one of the fest’s most buzzed-about commodities, but failed to nail down a deal during the Park City event while more mainstream pics like “Hustle and Flow” and “Wolf Creek” hogged the spotlight.

“(Strand’s) passion for (‘Parker’), and belief in the film convinced us they are the best for us in the States,” said Coffey.

Strand — headed by Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans — plans a December rollout.

Pic was repped by CAA.