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Sundance Watch: Relativity/Rogue Grabs Catfish

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 4, 2010 at 6:11AM

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.
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Thompson on Hollywood

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.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Web/Tech, Sundance, Independents, MySpace


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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.