We've already written about how 2013 has become a very special moment in the history of the coming-of-age genre. What was once a home for amazing movies like The Goonies, Stand By Me and Lord of the Flies has been pushed to the side in recent years to make room for sillier teen comedies that replace emotions and honesty with immaturity and stupidity. That appears to be changing, though, as a new crop of movies have emerged that take kids (and the whole growing-up experience) a bit more seriously. These movies still have a lot of fun, but they do so in a way that simply resonates a lot more with our own feelings and experiences. One of those coming-of-age movies that I'm personally excited about is I Declare War, and after it snagged an Audience Award at Fantastic Fest back in September, Drafthouse Films has decided to pick it up and pour it all over our nostalgic heads later this year.
I Declare War stars a whole crop of amazing newcomers in a film that's basically about a bunch of kids playing an old-school game of "War" in their local woods. However, directors Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson do a brilliant job of dramatizing their game by injecting the movie with explosive special effects and a number of different subplots that mirror our favorite action movies as well as what it's like to be a kid on the verge of puberty and all that comes along with it.
Seriously, this film rocks on so many levels. Between I Declare War and some of the movies coming out of Sundance (Toy's House, The Spectacular Now, The Way, Way Back, Stoker), it's going to be an amazing year for the coming-of-age movie. We're looking forward to it, and so should you.
Here's a trailer that was cut prior to the film's Toronto International Film Festival premiere. It's not the greatest trailer, and we imagine a better one will appear as Drafthouse Films begins to roll this out via VOD and theaters in the third or fourth quarter of 2013, as per their press release (which you can read below).
AUSTIN, TX - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced their acquisition of US rights to 2012 Toronto International Film Festival favorite and Fantastic Fest Audience Award winner I Declare War, directed by Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson. Produced by Lewin Webb, Robert Wilson and Patrick Cameron from SamaritanEntertainment, the film centers on an epic game of capture-the-flag. In their quest for victory, a group of adolescents pushes beyond the game and the boundaries of friendship into an adventure where fantasy blurs with reality. A VOD and theatrical campaign is planned for the second half of 2013.
Directors Lapeyre and Wilson set out to construct an action film from the darker side of a 13-year-old's mindset, while also examining sincere conflicts of enduring friendship. Using the kids' overactive imaginations, a neighborhood forest setting becomes a full-fledged woodland battlefield: sticks transform into guns, water balloons into grenades and eyeballs can shoot lasers. Charles Webb of MTV Geekhas praised the film for "vividly capturing a point in time as a kid where everything was important, even the imaginary things."
"Not since Stand By Me have we experienced such a poignant and sincere film about kids for adults," says Drafthouse Films CEO/Founder Tim League, "Armed with an arsenal of extremely talented child actors and combining shades of Full Metal Jacket and Lord Of The Flies, Jason and Rob have created a one-of-a-kind action film that we couldn't be more excited to handle in the US."
Producer Lewin Webb noted, "We are thrilled that Drafthouse Films have picked up I Declare War and a wide US audience is going to have the opportunity to see it. We are proud to be part of the Drafthouse Family of films."
"Drafthouse Films is our ideal partner for I Declare War in the US. From Fantastic Fest on, they have been a huge supporter," says director RobertWilson. "Drafthouse are the most progressive of US based distributors and we know that they will deliver the widest and best audience for the film."
The deal was negotiated by Drafthouse Films COO James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Andrew Herwitz of Film Sales on behalf of the film's producers.
I Declare War is available for festival bookings until the 3rd quarter of 2013. Please contact Festival Coordinator Jon Stobezki at firstname.lastname@example.org. For theatrical bookings contact VP of Theatrical Marketing and Distribution Sumyi Antonson at email@example.com.
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