Neil Friedman's Menemsha Entertainment has acquired rights outside North America to Michael Cuesta's L.I.E. which is currently on release in the US through Lot 47 Films. The film world premiered in competition at this year's Sundance Film Festival and was one of the most critically acclaimed titles at the festival. Cuesta also shared the New Directors Prize at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in August.
A disturbing tale of a troubled 15 year-old boy in Long Island dabbling in crime and struggling with his sexuality who is befriended by a paedophile, the film joins features newcomer Paul Franklin Delano as the boy, with Brian Cox as the paedophile, Billy Kay as a local hustler and Bruce Altman as the boy's crooked father. The title refers to the Long Island Expressway around which the action in the film takes place.
The film adds to a growing list of foreign language and arthouse fare represented for international sales by Menemsha such as Majid Majidi's Color Of Paradise, Radu Mihaileanu's Train Of Life and Jan Hrebejk's Divided We Fall. Friedman closed domestic deals on those films with Sony Pictures Classics, Paramount Classics and Sony Pictures Classics respectively.
"L.I.E. has been hailed by critics in America as the "film discovery of the year" and one of the year's best films," said Friedman. "The film takes an unflinching look at a segment of Americana that calls to mind such great films as Happiness and American Beauty. Leading American critics have also glowingly compared the film to such classic films as The 400 Blows."
"The filmmaker, Michael Cuesta, is a phenomenal new American talent," he added. "Menemsha is looking forward to workly closely with the producers of the film, Rene Bastian and Linda Moran, in planning the international release plan for the film. Brian Cox has got to a leading candidate to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor in this current film year."