Global Digital Releasing has acquired worldwide rights to writer/director Vincent Sabella’s feature film debut, “Elizabeth Blue,” Variety has learned exclusively.
The drama stars Anna Schafer, Ryan Vincent, Kathleen Quinlan, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The story centers on the titular Elizabeth — played by Schafer — who suffers from schizophrenia and is struggling to regain control of her mental stability and her life as she begins to plan her wedding.
The film screened on June 28 in Washington D.C. as part of the national convention for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It’s set for a limited theatrical release on Sept. 22 in a minimum of 10 major markets, including New York and Los Angeles.
The release strategy also includes an exclusive worldwide release on iTunes on Oct. 10 in conjunction with World Mental Health Day. In addition, the film is scheduled to screen at multiple NAMI affiliate locations across the country during the film’s opening weekend.
NAMI is a grassroots mental health organization and works with celebrities and filmmakers as part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and combat stigmas associated with mental illness. NAMI will also be receiving a portion of the film’s proceeds.
Producer and GDR executive Joe Dain said, “I am so proud to be a part of not only producing but also distributing ‘Elizabeth Blue.’ It’s an important film tackling mental illness and specifically schizophrenia, in a poignant, realistic, and heartfelt way. We are so honored that NAMI and its many affiliates across the country have embraced this film with such love and support to help us not only spread the word on the film but to continue to break the stigma of those affected by mental illness.”
“Elizabeth Blue” was executive produced by Elliot Abbott (“Awakenings”) and Akinnuoye-Agbaje and marks the first theatrical release from the fledgling distributor. Recent releases include the drama “The Passing” and Toronto Film Festival official selection “Without Name.”
Michael Sherman of Reed Smith, LLP, negotiated the deal.