IFC Films picks up Soderbergh's 'Che'

Release plans still being determined for two-part film

In a surprise move, IFC Films has acquired Steven Soderbergh's double bill "Che," swooping in and taking rights to the pic after a number of false reports had put it with Magnolia.

"Che" will be the most expensive film by far ever released on the simultaneous release day-and-date distribution model. After a one-week awards qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York in December, IFC will reopen the film in January through IFC in Theaters on VOD and in cinemas.

The movie, in two two-hour parts, focuses on Che Guevara's twin revolutions in Bolivia and Cuba. It premiered at the Festival de Cannes in May to mixed response.

Release plans are still being determined, with the biggest question for the distributor whether to release the films together or separately -- or as a combination of the two approaches.

An IFC spokesperson said that whether the film will be released in two parts in its initial theatrical run or later VOD/theatrical release is still under discussion, but a Wild Bunch sales rep for the film said in the summer that Soderbergh wanted back-to-back screenings in its initial limited run.

The buy is the first large one for IFC, which has been reasonably quiet compared to its recent fest activity.

Steven Zeitchik reported from Toronto; Gregg Goldstein reported from New York.