River: Sundance to Sony


Recent news out of Sundance Film Festival, which is nearing the end of its 11-day run in Park City, Utah, has local filmmaker Heather Rae emerging from the mountain hamlet with a contract from Sony. Rae is the producer of Frozen River, a film about two single mothers—one a Mohawk Native American the other not—in upstate New York who become involved in human trafficking across the frozen St. Lawrence River that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border.

BW caught up with Rae, who is still at Sundance, to ask what Sony's contract will mean for the film.

"It means a tremendous amount for the film. It's kind of a "it could not be better" situation to be honest with you, and I mean that in the sincerest way. This is our first choice of a distributor because of the quality of the films they release and they way in which they release movies.

"They're true, authentic champions of independent film and have been for 25 years. Amongst the specialty divisions in the studios they really are the best—that's just my opinion, but it's based on some practical knowledge. Coming into it, we had no idea. It's not been a good market for films down here at all. It's been very slow. There are some fantastic movies here, which have had no distribution offers. From what I understand—and I could be mistaken—but as of yesterday, from what I understand, it's the only movie that Sony is buying."

Frozen River will be released widely next fall.