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IFC Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) announced from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival that the companies are partnering to acquire North American rights to George Ratliff’s ‘Salvation Boulevard’, which premiered this week in the festival’s Premieres section. The film, with a screenplay by Ratliff (whose previous films include Hell House and Joshua) and Doug Max Stone, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart, stars Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Jim Gaffigan and Marisa Tomei.  The film, a Mandalay Vision production of a Mandalay Pictures film, was produced by Cathy Schulman, Celine Rattray and Peter Fruchtman, and will be released theatrically via IFC Films.

In the film, Pastor Dan (Brosnan) is a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl (Kinnear) is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The megachurch is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence. The road to hell—in this case, SALVATION BOULEVARD—is paved with good intentions—gone hysterically wrong.

Pastor Dan is a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The megachurch is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence. The road to hell—in this case, Salvation Boulevard—is paved with good intentions—gone hysterically wrong.

This material is perfectly suited for George Ratliff, who directed the award-winning documentary Hell House and the 2007 Sundance Film Festival hit Joshua. Down to every detail, you feel you are in capable hands. In a situation ripe with possibilities, the gloriously talented cast push their performances to the limit, spiraling this film toward instant cult-comedy status. In Salvation Boulevard, Ratliff peels back the onion to take a satirical look at Christian fanaticism—one guilty pleasure at a time. | Sundance Film Festival

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “George Ratliff takes a big leap forward with this film which, aside from featuring a powerhouse cast in Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Jim Gaffigan and Jennifer Connelly, is a clever and sharp comedy that delivers.”

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