Cinedigm announced today the acquisition of North American rights to “Yelling Fire in an Empty Theater,” the feature debut of writer-director Justin Zuckerman. Starting Jan. 24, the film will be available for viewing exclusively on Fandor, Cinedigm’s official streaming platform.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Fandor and Cinedigm on the film, who are really building an incredible new home for independent film,” Zuckerman said. “When we made this film, we only had set out to prove to ourselves that we could make something fun and interesting with what we already had at our disposal. The support and encouragement from Fandor and elsewhere has meant the world, and we’re excited for more people to see the project.”
Zuckerman shot the 73-minute feature with a mini-DV on a budget that cost less than the monthly rent of the apartment he filmed in. Though the film’s minimal production value did little to inhibit its positive reception.
“Having supported the early works of mumblecore OGs like Joe Swanberg and Kentucker Audley, it’s thrilling to nurture a new generation reacting to those films with fresh eyes,” said Aaron Hillis, director of programming for Cinedigm. “I personally love the vintage mini-DV aesthetic—and yes, this unusual and very funny film is supposed to look like that.”
The lo-fi comedy premiered at the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival, where Zuckerman received a nomination for best narrative feature. Then, in September, the film was awarded the audience choice for best feature at the Tallahassee Film Festival.
“Yelling Fire in an Empty Theater” follows Lisa (Isadora Leiva), a recent college graduate, as she moves in to a New York apartment with a couple who involve her in their dysfunctional relationship. Leiva stars alongside Michael Patrick Nicholson, Kelly Cooper, Austin Cassel, Colin Burgess, Krista Jensen and Ryan Martin Brown.
In addition to performing, Brown produced “Yelling Fire in an Empty Theater” with 5th Floor Pictures and negotiated the Cinedigm acquisition on behalf of the film.
Watch the official trailer for the feature below.