It was a very good morning for IFC Films and Sundance Selects.
The indie distributor scored its first Oscar nomination for best picture for “Boyhood,” the 12-years-in-the-making story of one young man’s journey into adulthood, along with bids for the documentary “Finding Vivian Maier” and Marion Cotillard for her work in “Two Days, One Night.”
It’s “Boyhood,” however, that looms largest. The picture is up for six statuettes, including nominations for director Richard Linklater and actors Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette.
“‘Boyhood,’ though a personal story, is also a universal one that touches all of us,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films. “It has taken the ordinary, small moments in our lives and made everyone who experiences them feel good about how wonderful life is. Richard Linklater has created a masterpiece.”
Getting to that point required an extraordinary leap of faith on the part of IFC. The picture was shot intermittently, with cast and crew reassembling for a few weeks each year to pick up the thread of the story of a working-class Texas family as they endure triumphs and travails. It could have been a disaster, but Sehring insists he never wavered in his belief in Linklater and company.
“The 12 years we all worked on ‘Boyhood’ were not without their challenges, but there was never a doubt that Rick wouldn’t deliver,” said Sehring. “He is one of the most reliable individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and the entire cast and crew grew to become a real family.”
When it came to “Boyhood,” part of the attraction for the IFC Films head was that he had just gone through something similar in his own life.
“I had just experienced the wonderful drama of watching my oldest son grow up (he was a junior in high school at the time) and was about to go through that journey again as our two youngest sons were in kindergarten and first grade, so I got it right away,” said Sehring.
“Boyhood” debuted on home entertainment platforms this month, but IFC will re-release it on 100 screens this weekend and plans to add more venues in the coming weeks. The company is also eager to team again with Linklater.
“I am sure we will work together again,” said Sehring.”I do know that everyone feels strange not being in production — there is a genuine feeling of withdrawal amongst everyone.”