Magnolia Pictures Buys Patton Oswalt Catfishing Comedy ‘I Love My Dad’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to “I Love My Dad,” one of the biggest breakouts from this year’s SXSW.

Critics loved “I Love My Dad” reserving particular praise for the direction of James Morosini and for Patton Oswalt’s lead performance. The movie, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature as well as the Narrative Feature Competition Audience Award at the festival, certainly gets points for originality. It follows a young man (Morosini) who is catfished by his hopelessly estranged father (Oswalt) in a desperate attempt to reconnect. Blocked on social media and concerned for his son’s life, Oswalt’s character impersonates a waitress online and starts checking in with his son. But things begin to spiral out of control when the son falls for this imaginary girl (Claudia Sulewski) and wants nothing more than to meet her in person.

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Variety’s Peter Debruge praised the film as “funny, cringey, [and] all-too-credible.” In addition to Morosini and Oswalt, “I Love My Dad” stars Lil Rel Howery, Amy Landecker, Ricky Velez and Rachel Dratch.

The tale of digital manipulation and confusion was inspired by Morosini’s true life experience. He wrote the script in addition to directing the film and starring in it alongside Oswalt. Magnolia will release the film in theaters August 5, and on demand August 12.

“James Morosini has come up with a truly hilarious, wildly imaginative tale of fatherly love,” said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. “We can’t wait to bring it to audiences.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with Eamonn and his team at Magnolia,” said Morosini. “They’re the perfect home for this incredibly personal story.”

“I Love My Dad” is produced by Bill Stertz, Patton Oswalt, Sean King O’Grady, Dane Eckerle, Phil Keefe, Daniel Brandt, and Sam Slater. Executive Producers are Lauren Hantz, John Hantz, Jeremy Garelick, Dave Rath, David Bernon, and Will Phelps, with Billy Mulligan Co-Producing.

The film was fully financed and produced by Hantz Motion Pictures, with Burn Later Productions, in association with American High. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with Verve Ventures representing the filmmakers. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Morosini is repped by Verve, Anonymous Content and attorney Matt Rosen.

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