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IFC Films, Sapan Studio Buy ‘Ghostlight’ Following Critically Acclaimed Sundance Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

IFC Films and Sapan Studio have acquired the North American rights to “Ghostlight” following its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival, where the tender-hearted drama drew strong reviews.

The film is the sophomore feature from Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan and follows their critically acclaimed 2019 debut “Saint Frances.” It stars a real-life family of actors — Keith Kupferer, Tara Mallen and their daughter Katherine Mallen Kupferer — as well as Golden Globe nominee Dolly De Leon, a breakout for her turn in “Triangle of Sadness.” IFC Films plans to release the film in theaters later this year.

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“Ghostlight” centers around Dan, a melancholic construction worker who unexpectedly joins a local theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” But as the onstage drama mirrors his own life, Dan and his family are forced to grapple with a recent tragedy. In his Variety review, Peter Debruge wrote that the story was “beautifully told,” adding that “the experience amounts to something special.” Indiewire wrote that the film was a “charming, funny, and very human exploration of the bonds that alter the course of our lives.”

Co-Directors Thompson and O’Sullivan commented, “Alex and I have long admired IFC Films’ fierce championing of independent cinema and are thrilled to be partnering with a leader in the space along with Sapan Studio to release ‘Ghostlight.’ The reception we received at Sundance has reinforced that this is a film for everyone, with big feeling, and we can’t wait, with this dream team, for ‘Ghostlight’ to reach audiences.”

“Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan have created a delicate, unselfconscious story about family and love in which every note rings  true and resonates so deeply,” said Sapan Studio founder Josh Sapan.  “There is no one better than Scott Shooman and the IFC Films’ team to bring this exquisite  movie to audiences.”

“’Ghostlight’ represents everything we would want to see and hope to acquire out of a festival like Sundance, with Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan delivering a unique and tender approach to human connection,” said Scott Shooman, head of AMC Networks’ Film Group. “We are proud to re-team with Sapan Studio to bring this remarkable illustration of filmmaking to theaters.”

“Ghostlight” was produced by Thompson, Pierce Craven, Chelsea Krant, Ian Keiser, Eddie Linker and Alex Wilson.

IFC and Sapan Studio previously collaborated on Tran Anh Hung’s “The Taste of Things” and “The Disappearance of Shere Hite.” Josh Sapan was previously the head of AMC Networks, which owns IFC.

The deal was negotiated by Shoorman for IFC Films and Josh Sapan for Sapan Studio. Cinetic’s Jason Ishikawa worked on behalf of the filmmakers.

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