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Sundance Deal: IFC Takes 'Liberal Arts'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 26, 2012 at 1:27AM

IFC Films is acquiring North American rights to writer-director-actor Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts," which debuted at Sundance on January 22 to a rousing standing ovation. It's "How I Met Your Mother" star Radnor's follow-up to Sundance hit "happythankyoumoreplease." Trained as an actor, Radnor wrote the film for acting idols Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor") and Allison Janney ("Juno, The Help"). Also starring are Elizabeth Olsen ("Martha Marcy May Marlene"), Elizabeth Reaser ("The Family Stone," "Twilight') and John Magaro ("The Brave One"). IFC plans to release the film theatrically later this year. In the film, a brainy thirty something (Radnor) returns to his college for the retirement of his favorite professor (Jenkins). He meets a young co-ed (Olsen) and flirts with a relationship; he's also attracted to his old romantic literature professor (Janney).
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Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts

IFC Films is acquiring North American rights to writer-director-actor Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts," which debuted at Sundance on January 22 to a rousing standing ovation. It's "How I Met Your Mother" star Radnor's follow-up to Sundance hit "happythankyoumoreplease." Trained as an actor, Radnor wrote the film for acting idols Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor") and Allison Janney ("Juno, The Help"). Also starring are Elizabeth Olsen ("Martha Marcy May Marlene"), Elizabeth Reaser ("The Family Stone," "Twilight') and John Magaro ("The Brave One").  IFC plans to release the film theatrically later this year.

In the film, a brainy thirty something (Radnor) returns to his college for the retirement of his favorite professor (Jenkins). He meets a young co-ed (Olsen) and flirts with a relationship; he's also attracted to his old romantic literature professor (Janney).

Radnor also produced the film, along with Jesse Hara and BCDF partners Brice Dal Farra, Claude Dal Farra, and Lauren Munsch. President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films Jonathan Sehring said, “Josh Radnor delivers a poignant and smart comedy, with incredible acting and a terrific screenplay.”

BCDF Pictures has also produced "Higher Ground" (Sundance 2011), "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding" (Toronto 2011), "Bachelorette" (Sundance 2012), and "Predisposed" (Sundance 2012). IFC Films recently acquired North American rights to distribute Bruce Beresford’s "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding," and will release the film this summer.  The film stars Olsen, Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, and Chace Crawford.

Radnor's theatre work includes "The Graduate" on Broadway, opposite Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone.

This article is related to: Sundance 2012 News, Sundance


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.