Though it might often seem as if most of the wheeling and dealing that goes into the acquisition of festival films happens actually during festivals, there are plenty of worthy titles that end up getting snapped up months after their premieres (just look at John Dies at the End). Though Todd Berger’s It’s A Disaster premiered back in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival and we’re just getting word of the film being bought now, there was never any question that the LAFF favorite (and major crowdpleaser) was going to get picked up, distributed, and totally loved by anyone who has the good sense to watch it.
IndieWire reports that Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to the film and is planning to release it both theatrically and digitally in early 2013. Written and directed by Berger, the film stars Julia Stiles, David Cross, America Ferrera, Erinn Hayes, Rachel Boston, Kevin M. Brennan, Jeff Grace, and Blaise Miller in a fresh and funny spin on the worn-out apocalypse film trope. It centers on a group of friends who gather for a Sunday brunch and, too consumed with their own (quite funny) dramas, utterly fail to notice that the world is literally ending around them.
Oscilloscope’s David Laub said of the film, “It’s A Disaster is a real gem, one of those great discoveries that you don’t come across very often…Todd has combined a perceptive, Woody Allen-esque relationship comedy with a unique take on the apocalypse film, and in the process enlivened both genres and created something highly original and entertaining.”
The film was hugely popular at LAFF (the festival, which typically only has one or two screenings for even the most buzzy titles, had to add a third screening for the film based on demand, and all of the screenings were sold out), and its positive word of mouth proved true – I called the film the “festival’s biggest comedic success.” You might remember that my review summed up the numerous highlights of the film as such: “a delightful and game cast that exhibits consistent chemistry and humor; a fresh spin on both the end-of-the-world theme (double feature with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World?) and the trapped-with-people-you-hate-and-love trope; a tightly written script that brings laughs and plot development in equal measure.”
And, if you’ve really been paying attention, you’ll remember that I moderated the It’s A Disaster panel at this year’s Comic-Con, and while I am perhaps a bit compromised when it comes to my personal happiness over this announcement, this is awesome news and if you’ve seen the film, you’ll most likely agree.
The film will next play at the New Orleans Film Festival and is expected to have other festival showings before its theatrical and digital release.
Oscilloscope most recently released Shut Up and Play the Hits and We Need to Talk About Kevin. Their upcoming slate includes Samsara, Hello I Must Be Going, and 28 Hotel Rooms.