Our second acquisition, "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints"
Jump Street Films has secured all Australia/New Zealand rights from First Look Studios to “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints”, a coming-of-age saga starring Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey, Jr. Scheduled for an October 2006 release, it will be the second film for the Melbourne-based distributor, following the recent March theatrical launch of James Marsh’s “The King” starring Gael Garcia Bernal and William Hurt.
Having premiered in the dramatic spectrum at Sundance earlier this year, where it won the Director’s Award and a Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Performance as well as being nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, “Guide” features a stellar cast also including Rosario Dawson, Shia LaBeouf, rising star Channing Tatum, 2 x Academy Award® winner Dianne Weist and Academy Award® nominee Chazz Palminteri.
“A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints” is the true story of a pivotal summer on the hot, sweaty, violent streets of Astoria, Queens – the summer that changed not only Dito Montiel, but the lives of everyone around him. Torn between his ill father, his domineering friend and protector Antonio, the neighbourhood war and the lustful temptations of youth, Dito struggles against his desire to escape, running away from everything he knows. He finds redemption 15 years later when he returns to Queens and faces the “saints” that have influenced his life.
Screen International raves: “Adapting his 2003 memoir of the same title, debut writer-director Dito Montiel reveals himself as a promising new voice in American cinema with A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, a feature that summons the sting of memory, evoked in moments simultaneously fond, joyous, bitter, sad and tragic. It makes for an electric piece of film-making. The acting is revealing, spontaneous and deeply moving. Many remarkable moments”.
Taking its cue from the modern masters Martin Scorcese and Spike Lee, Montiel imbues his film with a remarkable depth of feeling. Jump Street director Jamie Bialkower says that “with this film, you’re not only a witness to the events – you’re actually part of them. It’s rare for a debut filmmaker to have such an authentic feel for a certain time and place. Everything about this film feels real, and that’s what makes it special. The cumulative effect of the acting hits you like a sledgehammer. I’m very excited to bring this film to Australian audiences.”
Deal was negotiated by Bialkower and Krysanne Katsoolis of Cactus Three. Madman Entertainment will handle all ancillary rights for Jump Street Films.