Sony buys US Rights to Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York


Mumbai: Sony Pictures Classics has purchased the US rights to Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, a deal brokered by UTA. The film screened in official competition at the Cannes International Film Festival. This acquisition continues SPC’s relationship with SKE after the successful release of Ira Sach’s Married Life.

Academy award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman plays theatre director Caden Cotard’s who views his life in Schenectady, New York as bleak. His wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground.

And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his body’s autonomic functions. Worried about the transience of his life, he moves his theatre company to a warehouse in New York City. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mock-up of the city outside.

Synecdoche, New York was written and directed by Kaufman whose previous writing credits include Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine Of ThE Spotless Mind. He received Academy Award nominations for all three films, winning the Oscar for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

The film stars an inspiring list of actors Oscar winners Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Dianne Wiest, Oscar nominated actresses Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Emily Watson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis and Tom Noonan. Anthony Bregman, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, and Sidney Kimmel produced the film with William Horberg, Bruce Toll and Ray Angelic serving as Executive Producers. Director of Photography is Fred Elmes, costume designer Melissa Toth, Editor Robert Frazen, visual effect supervisor Mark Russell, music by Jon Brion, and Bonnie Greenberg served as Music Supervisor.

Bregman stated, "Sony Classics is the ideal home for a film with Synecdoche, New York’s complexity and ambition. Kaufman made a film more singular and captivating than anything in recent memory — but a unique film requires a unique release. SPC’s gift is that they embrace the challenge of distribution with creativity, invention and relentless energy."

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment President Jim Tauber says of the acquisition, "We are delighted to be working with Sony Pictures Classics again. Michael and Tom and their entire team are the perfect fit for Synecdoche, New York. Kaufman has made an ambitious and epic film with fierce passion and emotion, which will be matched with the very same qualities always present in SPC’s consistent pursuit of excellence."

Sony Pictures Classics released the following statement: "We’ve wanted to be involved with the genius of Kaufman forever. We have pursued this film ever since he told us the story at dinner two years ago. Synecdoche, New York is an important film that defies description. We have already seen it several times and it is richer and more satisfying with every viewing. To also be back in business with producer Bregman, our friends at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (Jim Tauber, Bill Horberg, Bingham Ray) and, of course, Philip Seymour Hoffman, not to mention producer Spike Jonze, is icing on the cake. We can’t wait to put this one before the public."

Synecdoche, New York will be released in October.