IFC Midnight is acquiring North American rights to retro Tinder nightmare RENT-A-PAL written and directed by Jon Stevenson, starring Brian Landis Folkins (Hoax), Wil Wheaton (Stand By Me, Into The Dark’s Pooka Lives), Kathleen Brady (“Breaking Bad”), and Amy Rutledge (Neighbor). Inspired by real-life VHS tape ‘RENT-A-FRIEND: THE ORIGINAL VIDEO COMPANION’, a response to loneliness in the analog era.
RENT-A-PAL was produced by Annie Elizabeth Baker, Jimmy Weber, Jon Stevenson of Pretty People Pictures, alongside J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules of BoulderLight Pictures.
Set in 1990, a lonely bachelor named David (Brian Landis Folkins) searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother (Kathleen Brady). While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called RENT-A-PAL. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy (Wil Wheaton), the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But, Andy’s friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission.
Director Jon Stevenson said, “It’s an honor to have my directorial debut released on IFC Midnight. Their history of high-quality genre entertainment has directly inspired my work. To now be a part of their rich film library is surreal. I look forward to working with their team in releasing RENT-A-PAL. This movie is near and dear to my heart and I’m truly excited for the world to see it. And for the world to see a very different side of Wil Wheaton.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films Arianna Bocco and Acquisitions Coordinator Adam Koehler with BoulderLight Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Midnight will release the film in September 2020.
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes.
Upcoming releases include Natalie Erika James’ Sundance hit Relic and Egor Abramenko’s Sputnik. Some of the company’s successes have included Andy Nyman’s critical darling Ghost Stories, André Øvredal’s box-office success The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Peter Strickland’s modern giallo Berberian Sound Studio, Duncan Skiles’ The Clovehitch Killer, Lucile Hadžihalilović’s Evolution, Johnnie To’s Hong Kong revenge thriller Vengeance, Sean Byrne’s The Devil’s Candy, John McNaughton’s The Harvest, and the award-winning and cultural phenomenon The Babadook. IFC Midnight is a sister label to IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
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