IFC Films has acquired the North American rights to "The Canyons," a Paul Schrader film starring Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen from a script by Bret Easton Ellis, and plans a simulataneous theatrical and video-on-demand release.
IFC also plans to release the film in conjunction with a special presentation at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. "The Canyons" was made for a reported total of about $250,000, with $150,000 coming from Kickstarter contributions and the rest from the filmmakers.
The many complications in making the film were detailed in a New York Times Magazine story that described Schrader, the writer of "Taxi Driver," at one point taking off his own clothes to persuade Lohan to do a nude scene.
See also: A Clip From the Canyons (Video)
Lohan's antics often threatened work on the film, the story said. But in a statement, Ellis said the film's release would allow viewers to "judge for themselves rather than relying on the undeservedly snarky press 'The Canyons' has received so far."
"The DIY ethos behind the movie dovetails perfectly with IFC's commitment to release the film this summer," he said. Ellis praised producer Braxton Pope and Schrader for getting the film ready for release, noting that he began writing it only a year ago.
Schrader presented a master class on crowdsourcing and DIY production at last year's New York Film Festival. Besides using Kickstarter, the film also did online casting and drummed up interest by releasing clips online, as well as trailers in grindhouse and classic-noir style.
Story continues after the noir trailer:
The film follows scheming and wealthy movie producer Christian (Deen) who makes movies to keep his father appeased. Lohan plays his girlfriend, Tara, who is hiding an affair with an actor from her past.
“This film is a wild ride through the psyche of Bret Easton Ellis courtesy of Paul Schrader," said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films. "Lindsay Lohan is terrific as Tara and James Deen will be a big surprise for people. We are thrilled that the filmmakers’ adventure in filmmaking 2.0 has brought them to our door.”
Added Schrader: “I am delighted our film has found an enthusiastic home at IFC. We envisioned 'The Canyons' as a multi-platform release from the beginning and no company knows that world better than IFC."
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, senior vice president of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Alexis Garcia at WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Films is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.