ThinkFilm in step with 'Walker' pic


CANNES -- ThinkFilm has acquired all North American rights to Paul Schrader's "The Walker," the company's head of U.S. theatrical, Mark Urman, said.

The film, which had its world premiere at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, features an ensemble cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Lauren Bacall, Willem Dafoe, Ned Beatty, Moritz Bleibtreu and Mary Beth Hurt. Schrader directed from his original screenplay, which forms a loose trilogy with his earlier films "American Gigolo" and "Light Sleeper" that focus on outsider anti-heroes seeking moral redemption.

Harrelson plays a gay society walker who becomes involved in a Washington murder scandal. ThinkFilm will release the drama late this year to qualify for awards consideration.

"Paul is a true artist and one of America's only authentic auteurs," Urman said. " 'The Walker' is him doing what he does best and what only he can do. It is classy, bright and beautifully acted entertainment, and I am thrilled to have it on Think's lineup."

Added Schrader: "I am delighted that ThinkFilm will be releasing 'The Walker' domestically. I am particularly happy that Mark Urman, who was so instrumental in the making and release of 'Affliction,' will oversee U.S. distribution." (When Urman left public relations, where he had worked with Schrader, to become a distributor, he acquired the director's "Affliction," which earned two Academy Award nominations and a best supporting actor win for the late James Coburn.)

Schrader is filming "Adam Resurrected" in Eastern Europe.

Urman and Randy Manis, senior vp acquisitions and business affairs at ThinkFilm, negotiated on behalf of ThinkFilm, while Cinetic Media represented the filmmakers in the deal.