Lions Gate Acquires ‘Open Water’

Over at MSNBC, there’s an article and clip about Lions Gate Film’s latest acquisition, Open Water, which is being called The Blair Witch meets Jaws, here’s a taste, “Open Water, about a scuba-diving couple stranded in shark-infested waters after their chartered boat leaves without them. Forget the trials of the “Blair Witch” cast: this movie is a 79-minute triple-dog-dare. Like its Sundance predecessor, “Open Water” had a microscopic budget. Kentis couldn’t afford to build a mechanical shark, as in “Jaws,” and he certainly couldn’t afford computer-generated killers. So he did what any filmmaker-cum-sadomasochist would do: he dropped anchor 18 miles offshore in the Bahamas, dumped chum in the water and filmed the actors quaking as real, live sharks came calling. “It definitely got a little dicey at times,” Kentis says.” Watch a clip and read more here. Read on for the official press release.
Leading Independent Studio Secures Worldwide Rights Following Heated BiddingWar

VANCOUVER, BC and SANTA MONICA, CA, January 18, 2004 – Lions Gate Films, the
motion picture acquisition, production and distribution arm of Lions Gate
Entertainment (AMEX and TSX: LGF), has acquired worldwide distribution
rights to the terrifying deep sea thriller Open Water from Plunge Pictures,
it was announced today by Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions Gate Films
Releasing and Peter Block, President of Lions Gate Acquisitions and New
Media. A Summer 2004 theatrical release is planned.

“Chris Kentis and Laura Lau have crafted an unbelievably intense tale of
fear and survival set in the vast, creepy expanse of the open ocean,” said
Ortenberg. “We are thrilled to be charged with bringing this superior,
bone-chilling tale I would describe as Blair Witch meets Jaws, to a wide
audience this summer, continuing to build our leadership in the
horror/thriller genre, and letting audiences know that it won’t be safe to
go back in the water.”

“Lions Gate convinced us that they were the perfect distributor for Open
Water with their incredible enthusiasm and highly creative and smart
marketing ideas for the picture,” said Kentis. “After the incredible
experience of making the film, we feel we have found the perfect home for
it,” said Lau.

Ortenberg, Block, and Jason Constantine, Vice President of Acquisitions and
Nick Meyer, Co-president of Lions Gate Films International and, negotiated
the deal on behalf of Lions Gate, with Ronna Wallace, Sue Bodine and Andrea
Cannistraci negotiating for the filmmakers. Nick Meyer and Sergei Yershov,
Co-Presidents of Lions Gate Films International, will be handling foreign
Based on the true story of two married scuba divers left behind by a
careless boat crew, the film focuses on the shark-infested journey that
followed, as the drifting couple face their most primitive fears as they
fiercely struggle to survive.
The film stars Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein and Estelle Lau.
Written, directed and edited by Chris Kentis (Grind), produced by Laura Lau,
with cinematography by Kentis and Lau.
Moving into calendar 2004, Lions Gate, which recently concluded its merger
with Artisan Entertainment, has an A-list star-driven slate including DIRTY
DANCING: HAVANA NIGHTS (in conjunction with Miramax Films), which reimagines
the 1987 worldwide blockbuster and stars sensational newcomers Diego Luna (Y
TU MAMA TAMBIEN) and Romola Garai, the Cannes Film Festival sensation
DOGVILLE, starring Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman, the contemporary
cloning thriller GODSEND, starring two-time Academy Award winner Robert
DeNiro, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, the highly-anticipated THE
PUNISHER, inspired by the cult favorite Marvel (TM) superhero, with an
all-star cast led by Thomas Jane, John Travolta and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos,
the just-completed urban comedy THE COOKOUT, with Queen Latifah and a strong
ensemble cast, the futuristic THE FINAL CUT, starring Academy Award winner
Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel, the romantic period drama
STAGE BEAUTY, starring Billy Crudup, Claire Danes and Rupert Everett and
BEYOND THE SEA, starring Kevin Spacey.

Lions Gate Entertainment is the leading, diversified independent producer
and distributor of motion pictures, home entertainment, family
entertainment, television programming and video-on-demand content, and its
prolific and prestigious library of more than 8000 titles is the largest in
the indie world. The distinctive Lions Gate brand is synonymous with
original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

Source: MSNBC