Koch Lorber buys 'Chop Shop'


NEW YORK -- Koch Lorber Films has acquired all domestic rights to Ramin Bahrani's Festival de Cannes and Toronto fest selection "Chop Shop."

The neo-realistic drama from Big Beach centers on a 12-year-old Latino orphan (Alejandro Polanco) working in a Queens auto-body repair shop. His bleak existence is brightened when his teenage sister joins him to live in the shop and the two attempt to forge a better life together.

Bahrani scripted "Shop" with Bahareh Azimi. Lisa Muskat ("All the Real Girls"), Marc Turtletaub ("Little Miss Sunshine") and Jeb Brody ("Sunshine Cleaning") produced the film. Peter Saraf ("Adaptation") served as executive producer.

"Shop," which premiered in the the Director's Fortnight section of Cannes in May, helped Bahrani earn an IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award nomination at the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards.

The Iranian-American director gained acclaim for his 2005 feature "Man Push Cart," which was also shot with mostly nonprofessional actors. His next project is the darkly comic drama "Solo" for executive producers Ted Hope and Anne Carey of This Is That Prods. "Shop" will begin its theatrical rollout at New York's Film Forum on Feb. 27.

Koch Lorber's Richard Lorber negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media's Debra Fisher and Sarah Lash on behalf of Big Beach.