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Screen Media, Focus World Take U.S. On ‘Lifeguard’

Kristin Bell starrer debuted at Sundance

Focus World and Screen Media Films have teamed to buy U.S. rights to Liz W. Garcia’s drama “The Lifeguard,” two months after its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

Screen Media and Focus World will release “The Lifeguard,” starring Kristin Bell, in theaters and on digital platforms this summer.

Producers are Mike Landry and Carlos Velazquez of C Plus Pictures, Joshua Harto and Garcia of La Pistola, and Attic Light Films’ Milan Chakraborty.

“The Lifeguard” is Garcia’s feature directing debut following her work as a writer and producer on “Cold Case”  and co-creating “Memphis Beat” with Harto.

Bell (“House of Lies”) stars with Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr and Amy Madigan.  Bell portrays a woman with  a seemingly perfect life in New York who sees her career and love life crash down, flees to her suburban hometown and regresses back into high school life.

Peter Debruge wrote in his Variety review: “Defying conventional wisdom, a former valedictorian discovers that not only can she go home again, she can even shag a hot high schooler in the process, steaming up some otherwise stagnant soul-searching in Liz W. Garcia’s tawdry ‘The Lifeguard.’ Kristen Bell bucks her good-girl image in a role that suggests how a twisted 10-year reunion might look had Veronica Mars become a sexy New York reporter, hit a wall and been forced back to suburbia.”

Bell spearheaded a Kickstarter campaign last week that raised $2.8 million for a “Veronica Mars” movie set up at Warner Bros.

The deal was closed for Screen Media by Suzanne Blech and Seth Needle;  for Focus by Avy Eschenasy and Kent Sanderson; and for the filmmakers by CAA.

Joker Films is representing international rights to the feature.

Bell is represented by CAA, Brookside Artist Management, and attorneys James Adams and Ira Schreck. Garcia is represented by CAA, Madhouse Entertainment, and attorney Jeffrey Frankel.

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