March 9, 2007, AfterDark Films has acquired North American rights to Goran Dukic's dark romantic comedy "Wristcutters: A Love Story," starring Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, Will Arnett and Tom Waits.
The film will be released in August via the company's Lionsgate output deal. A potentially controversial marketing campaign is planned, featuring cardboard cutouts of characters jumping off a bridge, electrocuting and hanging themselves in keeping with the film's suicide theme. "We just hope they don't cause too many accidents," said AfterDark partner Courtney Solomon, who plans to place the signage on telephone poles and trees in major markets.
"Wristcutters" is the film adaptation of bestselling Israeli author Etgar Keret's Pizzeria Kamikaze graphic novel from Alternative Comics illustrated by Asaf Hanuka, originally from Keret's short story "Kneller's Happy Campers." Serialized in the award winning Bipolar comic, and previously translated into 13 languages, Pizzeria Kamikaze is a worldwide bestseller.
The film follows a group of young adults stuck in purgatory after committing suicide. The group embarks on a "Wizard of Oz"-style road trip, stopping at a magical camp run by an eccentric man (Waits) on their way to meeting the messiah (Arnett). Fugit will play a heartbroken member of the group, and Sossamon plays a hitchhiker who claims that her fate is all a big mistake.
The film debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win best feature honors at last year's Gen Art Film Festival. It earned a nomination for best film not playing at a theater near you at fall's Gotham Awards and noms for best first feature and best first screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards in February.
Etgar Keret was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. He is undoubtedly the most popular writer among Israeli youth, who see him as expressing their world, and his unique style has been widely imitated. Critic Nissim Calderon wrote that Keret is "the Amos Oz of his generation", and the daily Yedioth Ahronoth chose his book Missing Kissinger as one of the fifty most important Israeli books of all time.
Keret's books have all been bestsellers and each of them was awarded the Book Publishers Association Platinum Book Prize for selling more than 40,000 copies. Keret received the Prime Minister's Prize for literature and the Ministry of Culture Cinema Prize. His books in translation have received critical acclaim around the world, and Kneller's Happy Campers is included in French Fnac list of the 200 books of the decade. His short story Nimrod Flip-Out, was published in Francis Ford Coppola's magazine, Zoetrope (Summer 2004).
Keret lectures at Tel Aviv University Film School. His movie, Skin Deep, won the Israeli Oscar as well as first prize at several international film festivals. Over 40 short films based on his stories have been produced, and one received the 1998 American MTV Prize for the best animated film.
Asaf Hanuka studied at the French art institution Emile Cohl. After majoring in illustration, he started working as an illustrator for various publications. He has collaborated on graphic novels with French writer Didier Daeninckx on 'Carton Jaune!' and 'Hors Limits', and Israeli writer Etgar Keret on 'Streets of rage'. He is also working with French writer Roger Martin on a western graphic novel. Asaf has been working for daily news-papers and magazines. Among them TIME, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Source, Wall St. Journal, Forbes and others.