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Sundance 2013: Focus World, Screen Media Nab U.S. Rights to Kristen Bell Starrer 'The Lifeguard'

The Grey Premiere Red Carpet Kristen Bell - P 2012
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Kristen Bell

The two companies will release writer-director Liz W. Garcia's film in theaters and on digital platforms in the summer.

Focus World and Screen Media Films have teamed up to acquire U.S. rights to the Kristen Bell starrer The Lifeguard.

The film written and directed by Liz W. Garcia made its debut in competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Lifeguard marks Garcia's first feature after working as a writer and producer on such series as Cold Case and co-creating Memphis Beat  with The Lifeguard producer Joshua Harto. Bell (Showtime's House of Lies) stars alongside Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr and Amy Madigan.

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Mike Landry and Carlos Velazquez of C Plus Pictures produced the film alongside Harto and Garcia of La Pistola and Attic Light Films’ Milan Chakraborty.

The story centers on Leigh (Bell), almost 30 and living a seemingly perfect life in New York. But when her career and love life both come crashing down, she flees to her suburban hometown and regresses back into high school life. Picking up right where her teen halcyon days left off, she moves into her old room with her parents, hangs out with friends who never left town and reclaims her high school job as a condo-complex lifeguard. But as Leigh enjoys shirking adult life and responsibilities and enters into an illicit affair, she begins a chain reaction that affects those closest to her.

Focus World, the alternative label owned and operated by Focus Features, and Screen Media will release The Lifeguard in theaters and on digital platforms in the summer.

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“We’re thrilled to team up with Focus World on Liz’s really special, unique film," Screen Media president Suzanne Blech said. "I think the journey that Kristen’s character takes is one that so many can relate to, and both Focus and Screen cannot wait to share this with audiences around the country. Kristen’s fans, in particular, we believe are going to be thrilled to see her in new kind of role that’s at once fun, exciting, funny and challenging.”

The deal was negotiated by Blech and Screen Media's Seth Needle and Focus' Avy Eschenasy and Kent Sanderson. CAA repped the filmmakers.

Joker Films is representing international rights to The Lifeguard.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27