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Grasshopper Film has picked up North American distribution rights to Paul Felten and Joe DeNardo’s “Slow Machine,” ahead of the film’s premiere at the 58th annual New York Film Festival this week.

Set to release theatrically next year, the film is billed as a “miniature epic” of paranoia, espionage, subterfuge, music and performance on 16mm. It first bowed at January’s International Film Festival Rotterdam, one of the few physical film fests to take place ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Slow Machine” follows Stephanie, a restless and vibrant actor, who meets a troubled counter-terrorism specialist who’s also an aficionado of experimental theater. Their relationship ends disastrously, and forces Stephanie to the ramshackle home of musician Eleanor Friedberger, where she’s haunted by violent memories of her past life.

“As moviegoers, we’ve seen the ‘Grasshopper Film’ logo in front of some of our favorite new and restored repertory cinema in the last few years. We couldn’t be happier, and more humbled, to be included in their fantastic roster of films,” said directors Felten and DeNardo.

Grasshopper founder Ryan Krivoshey added, “We’re thrilled to be working with Paul and Joe and the rest of the team on this amazing film. ‘Slow Machine’ is one of the most genuinely exciting, innovative and daring films we’ve seen in a long time. We can’t wait to share it with audiences.”

“Slow Machine’s” cast includes Stephanie Hayes, Chloë Sevigny, Scott Shepherd, Eleanor Friedberger, Ean Sheehy and Emily Tremaine. It was produced by Kyle Hepp, Shrihari Sathe (“Dialectic”), Caroline von Kuhn (ACE Productions) and Alex Witherill (Green Street Films), and executive produced by Pierce Varous.

Felten previously co-wrote the James Franco-focused documentary “Francophrenia (Or, Don’t Kill Me I Know Where The Baby Is)” and “Burn Country.” A former director of the Olympia Film Festival, he is a Sundance Screenwriters Lab fellow and a recipient of The San Francisco Film Society’s Hearst Screenwriting grant.

Meanwhile, DeNardo has directed and photographed various films around music and performance, and was the subject of a retrospective at Union Docs in Brooklyn in 2014.

Distributor Grasshopper Film’s recent releases include Pedro Costa’s “Vitalina Varela,” Dan Sallitt’s “Fourteen,” Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet’s “Sicilia!” and Hong Sangsoo’s “Hill of Freedom” and “Woman on the Beach.” Upcoming releases include Tsai Ming-liang’s “Days,” Khalik Allah’s “IWOW: I Walk on Water,” Camilo Restrepo’s “Los Conductos” and Manoel de Oliveira’s “Francisca.”