IFC Midnight Gains the Rights
Yesterday, IFC Midnight announced they will acquire all North American and UK rights to director Chris James Thompson’s documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files. The film will hit theaters early 2013. Originally called Jeff, the documentary follows not only the case surrounding serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer but also the public’s reaction.
The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers. IFC Midnight is a sister label of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. IFC Midnight is probably the best possible choice to distribute the film as it’s a leading U.S. distributor of genre entertainment including horror, science-fiction, thrillers, erotic art house, action and more.
An Indie Film of Epic Proportions
Director Thompson independently made this film, relying completely on grants, festival awards and out of pocket funds to complete the project. In 2007, Thompson won the Milwaukee Film Festival for another film he made called Kyoko Naturally, which awarded him film-stock and a camera to make another movie.
The Noisola duo Joe Wong and Didier Leplae will score the soundtrack. The two have worked on several projects with several artists ranging from The Flaming Lips to Lil John.
Why Jeffrey Dahmer?
In case you were living under a rock in the early ’90s, the basic scoop of Jeffrey Dahmer is that he was a serial killer known for the grotesque mutilation and dismembering of his victims’ bodies. In 1991 he was arrested in Milwaukee and sentenced to nearly 1,000 years in prison for killing 17 bodies although his actual count of murders may be much higher.
Thompson’s documentary explores the reactions in Milwaukee during and after Dahmer’s arrest. Through several fellow directors, Thompson was able to create a documentary unlike any other by combining interviews, archival footage, reenactments and animations. The film incorporates recollections from Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, Police Detective Patrick Kennedy, and neighbor Pamela Bass.
Even though there have been several other films, documentaries and TV specials on Dahmer, Thompson had this to say about his version: “It’s a story that everybody knows about. But it’s a side to the story that no one knows about.”
Question and Answer with Director Thompson