The Orchard has acquired worldwide distribution rights excluding theatrical to S.J. Chiro’s coming of age feature film “Lane 1974,” Variety has learned exclusively.
“Lane 1974,” which premiered at SXSW in March, stars Sophia Mitri Schloss (“The Kicks”) as a 13-year-old girl coming of age in a Northern California commune during the 1970s. Katherine Moennig (“Ray Donovan”) stars as her iconoclastic mother along with Sara Coates, Jasmin Savoy Brown (“The Leftovers”) and Linas Phillips.
“Lane 1974” was produced by Jennessa West and executive produced by Mel Eslyn. The Orchard plans a digital and on demand release for Sept. 26.
Based on the Clane Hayward memoir “The Hypocrisy of Disco,” the movie portrays the titular Lane’s freedom of living off-the-grid with her mother and younger siblings, while she craves a stable “normal” life – one she’s only seen in pictures from a stolen Sears catalog. She must deal with her troubled mother, who has taken the name Hallelujah, while trying to care for her younger brother and sister.
Variety’s Dennis Harvey said in his SXSW review, “This atmospheric and keenly observed feature captures with bittersweet lyricism the pathos of growing up subject to the whims of free-spirited grownups who themselves could use some adult supervision.”
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The film recently won the CIAL Environment award at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy. It won the New American Cinema Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival. It’s scheduled to be shown at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle on Sept. 14-20 and at SIFF Cinemas on Sept. 22-28.
The film is the feature debut for Seattle-based Chiro, who said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Orchard. It means everything to have a film with such a strong female story be readily accessible to people all over the world. The Orchard has made a name for itself as a respected tastemaker represented by their cannon of outstanding independent films.”
The deal was negotiated by the Orchard’s Danielle DiGiacomo.