Gravitas Ventures, of Canada-based Anthem Sports & Entertainment, has acquired the North American rights to the Diane Keaton-starring comedy film “Mark & Rita” — set to premiere Aug. 12 — as it expands into a new theatrical release label Gravitas Premiere.
The label will acquire four to six “cast-driven, high production value films” per year, releasing them wide theatrically, according to the company’s announcement.
“We are delighted to launch Gravitas Premiere with the acquisition of ‘Mack & Rita,’ which solidifies our commitment to championing the cinematic in-theater experience,” said Gravitas Ventures Founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher. “People love going to the movies and this film is an excitingly fresh and insightful comedy that needs to be experienced on the big screen. ‘Mack & Rita’ is the type of high-quality, independently-produced story we are seeking to acquire through Gravitas Premiere, and we look forward to collaborating with our exhibition partners in bringing the film to theaters wide across North America.”
The indie, which will be helmed by actor-filmmaker Katie Aselton, stars Elizabeth Lail (“You”) as Mackenzie, a disillusioned 30-something who is exhausted by societal demands and wishes to be comfortable in her skin like her grandmother. While at her best friend’s bachelorette party, she stumbles into a “sound bath regression pod” and emerges as a 70-year-old (Keaton), “Aunt Rita,” soon realizing that the acceptance she craves from those around her is unlikely to come as quickly.
“Mack & Rita” also features an all-star cast of Taylour Paige (“Zola”), Loretta Devine (“Family Reunion”), Simon Rex (“Red Rocket”), Dustin Milligan (“Schitt’s Creek”), Amy Hill (“50 First Dates”), Lois Smith (“Lady Bird”), Wendie Malick (“The American President”), Patti Harrison (“Together Together”), Martin Short (“Only Murders in the Building”), Addie Weyrich (“Crush”), Aimee Carrero (“Maid”) and comedian Nicole Byer (“Grand Crew”).
Currently in postproduction, the pic is written by Paul Welsh and Madeline Walter, with Alex Saks, Stephanie Heaton-Harris, Jina Panebianco, Dori A. Rath and Keaton producing. Executive producers are Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis, Terry Dougas, Jean-Luc De Fanti, R. Wesley Sierk, Joseph Panebianco, John D. Straley, JoJo Ryder, Lauren Beveridge, Brett Beveridge, Jackie Shenoo and Joseph Restaino.
“We’re so thrilled to be working on Mack & Rita with the incredible team at Gravitas Ventures as they launch their new label, Gravitas Premiere. Their support and collaborative spirit, as well as their commitment to a wide theatrical release, are a dream for us as filmmakers,” Aselton and Saks said.
Hulu will be a Pay One U.S. partner on the film, and subscribers will be able to stream “Mack & Rita” beginning Dec. 20.