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Variance Acquires Eliza Hittman's Sundance 2013 Fave 'It Felt Like Love'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 26, 2013 at 2:03PM

Variance Films has snapped up US theatrical rights to first-time feature filmmaker Eliza Hittman's coming-of-age film "It Felt Like Love." They are planning an early 2014 theatrical release.
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Gina Piersanti in "It Felt Like Love"
Gina Piersanti in "It Felt Like Love"

Variance Films has snapped up US theatrical rights to first-time feature filmmaker Eliza Hittman's coming-of-age film "It Felt Like Love." They are planning an early 2014 theatrical release.

The title has had a robust festival run, premiering at Sundance this past January and going on to play Rotterdam, BAMCinemaFEST, London BFI and the Viennale. It was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival, and teenage lead Gina Piersanti won the Best Actress award at the Nashville Film Festival.

Here's the official synopsis:

IT FELT LIKE LOVE tells the story of Lila (Gina Piersanti in a stunning debut), a fourteen-year-old spending a hot summer in a blue-collar Brooklyn neighborhood far removed from the bustling city.  Awkward, lonely, and often playing the third wheel, Lila is determined to emulate the sexual exploits of her more experienced best friend.  She fixates on Sammy, a tough older guy, when she hears that "he'll sleep with anyone."  Deluded in her romantic pursuit, Lila tries desperately to insert herself into Sammy’s gritty world, but in doing so she puts herself into a dangerously vulnerable situation.  

The film, written as well as helmed by Hittman (who, earlier this year, made Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film), stars Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, and Ronen Rubinstein. Lensing is by cinematographer Sean Porter. No trailer yet, but below is a video feature for Sundance's NEXT Weekend festival, inaugurated this past August, interviewing Hittman:

This article is related to: News, Variance Films, News


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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.