While Paramount did screen Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman's Catfish for a recruited preview on Tuesday night, they did not seal a deal Wednesday. Instead, scooping up U.S., Canada and UK distribution rights to the movie was Relativity's Rogue label (the old Focus Features genre label that they bought from Universal), which plans to release the controversial social media doc through Universal. Director Brett Ratner enthusiastically brought the film to Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and plans to both exec produce and promote it.
In the film, a 24-year-old New York photographer starts corresponding on MySpace with an eight-year-old Michigan girl, and eventually starts a cyber-romance with her older sister, a model/musician.
"This is a movie that is both entertaining, profound and speaks directly to the evolving nature of relationships in a world dominated by social media," stated Kavanaugh. "Catfish is exactly the kind of film experience we intended to bring to audiences when we re-launched and expanded the Rogue brand."
Added producer Andrew Jarecki, "Catfish is a film that could never have been made even just a few years ago. It is a product of our generation, of miniature flip cameras, ‘sexting,’ and social networking."
Rogue will also release MacGruber on April 23 and producer James Cameron’s 3-D actioner Sanctum, which is filming in Australia, for late 2010 release.
Here's THR's Catfish report.