Debra Granik

Winter’s Bone wins at Sundance

Winter’s Bone won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this weekend and also a Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, which went to Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini.

Roadside Attractions snagged the domestic distribution rights and the film is now expected to see the light of day in the summer, at least in the U.S.

The press release:

Park City,Utah (January 30, 2010) – In a deal for one of Sundance’s most critically-acclaimed films, Roadside Attractions has acquired all North American rights to Debra Granik’s Dramatic Competition thriller WINTER’S BONE. Featuring an astonishing, star-making performance from actress Jennifer Lawrence (Jodie Foster’s upcoming Mel Gibson starrer THE BEAVER), WINTER’S BONE follows 17-year-old Ree Dolly as she faces down the unforgiving Ozark wilderness and an even more hostile criminal underworld in an attempt to find her missing father, who has put up the family homestead for his bail.

“With WINTER’S BONE, Debra Granik has crafted a classic detective story, a nail-biting thriller and an unbelievably touching family drama, all in one film,” said Roadside’s Head of Acquisitions and Business Affairs, Dustin Smith. “It’s everything Sundance is about. It’s everything independent film is about. And it’s everything I go to the movies for. We cannot wait to help Debra and her team get this film in front of as many people as humanly possible.”

Roadside plans to release the film theatrically this summer, with Lionsgate handling all ancillaries later in the year.

Adapted from a novel by Missouri-based author Daniel Woodrell (Ride With the Devil), WINTER’S BONE was directed by Debra Granik, whose 2004 film Down To the Bone won two Sundance jury prizes and launched the career of UP IN THE AIR star Vera Farmiga. The WINTER’S BONE screenplay was adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini,who also produced along with Alix Madigan. Executive Producers were Jonathan Scheuer and Shawn Simon. In addition to Jennifer Lawrence, the film also features stunning performances by John Hawkes (Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Dale Dickey (Changeling) as well as a team of supporting players cast directly from the Ozark region depicted in the film. WINTER’S BONE is a production of Anonymous Content and Winter’s Bone Productions.

Following its Sundance launch, WINTER’S BONE will have its international premiere next month as an Official Selection of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.

The deal was brokered by Dustin Smith and Howard Cohen for Roadside and Josh Braun and Jason Janego of Submarine Entertainment, on behalf of the filmmakers.

Winter’s Bone – new article has a new article about Winter’s Bone. It is mainly about tax incentives, the local actors who were cast in the film, and what the production means for local tourism.

Here is a snippet:

Granik says it was important to her to film here and use local actors because real accents and dialect give legitimacy to the film.

“The last thing we wanted to do was be outsiders and create a film that was grossly inaccurate,” Granik says.

After seeing Granik’s first film, Daniel Woodrell says he knew she was the right director to turn his book into a movie.

“She has the artistic integrity that this film needs, and I think it will be a film of high merit, whether it sells scads of tickets or not,” Woodrell says in an interview via e-mail.

“The novel was not designed to highlight drug problems. Drugs are incidental to the characters, part of their lives, their world, but not of primary interest to me. I don’t think the meth situation in southwest Missouri is a secret anymore, but is a widely known aspect of Ozark life,” Woodrell says. []

New Last House interview with Garret, Winter’s Bone confirmed

Garret talked to recently and apparently he is already filming Winter’s Bone in Branson, Missouri. The film is directed by Debra Granik, with Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes (Deadwood’s Sol Star) starring. Here is the synopsis, taken from this article:

“Winter’s Bone” centers on 16-year-old Ree Dolly, who hails from a large family of Ozark meth cookers. When her no-good father goes missing — after using the family home as collateral to post bond — Ree must either bring him back alive or prove that he’s dead. Otherwise the authorities will seize the family’s house, throwing Ree, her two younger brothers and their mentally ill mother out into the cold.

And here is what Garret said about filming The Last House on the Left:

Bloody-Disgusting: How did you land the role in Last House?

Garret Dillahunt: The director, Dennis Iliadis (although I like calling him by his proper Greek name, Dionisius) had seen ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES, apparently, and called me in for a meeting. I don’t know what he saw in Ed Miller that made him think I could pull off Krug, but I’m glad he did. I had to meet with Wes’ approval after that, and then we were done.

BD: Were you familiar with the original before you took the role? When did you see the original film?

Garret: I wasn’t familiar with the original prior to shooting. Particularly surprising since I like so many films from the ’70s. BADLANDS, ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, SCARECROW… always on my favorites list. Film is a lot like literature in the sense that I feel like I’m always reading yet there are these great, unexplainable holes in my library. Not much Faulkner, for example. It’s the same with film. There are just so many I haven’t gotten around to, and yet I see a shitload of movies. We all watched THE VIRGIN SPRING together, though. And I thought that was pretty amazing and ahead of its time. In some ways we owe more to that film. I watched the original LHOTL later, after I was free from the fear of being improperly influenced by it.

BD: The original is pretty brutal and hard to watch, do you feel that was the goal of the remake too? What do you think they were trying to accomplish and what were your goals?

Garret: Was that the goal of the original? To be brutal and hard to watch? I’m not sure, I guess, what our goal was other than to tell the story in our hands well and true and complete. The result is certainly brutal…relentlessly so. I felt like I’d been mugged after the first screening. I’ll say I think it is certainly a timely film (again). People are angry right now in this country. Good, hard working people feel like, through no fault of their own, outside forces have come into their lives and torn them apart. They feel violated and disrespected and powerless. Those forces are given a face with Krug and Co., and this normal, American family decides to take some power back. That decision is not without cost–psychic and otherwise.

BD: Can you talk about the dynamics of the father and son relationship you have with your son? And maybe talk about if you see some connection to the Collingwood family’s relationship.

Garret: Well, Krug and Mr. Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn) have both fathered children. There the similarity ends, pretty much. Heh. I really appreciated the inclusion of this storyline in the script. It fleshes out the character so much and, actually, made it easier to play him as I felt sorry for him. I think he is a guy who’d benefit from LOTS of psychotherapy. He loves his son, but doesn’t know how to raise him properly. He has twisted ideas about what being a man is. He’s quite intelligent, yet makes horrible decisions. He has been beaten up by life and has responded to those setbacks in the most unhealthy of ways. Everything is a slight..a personal attack that he cannot get around. When we meet Krug, he is already lost. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Read the rest of the interview at