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Tribeca Films purchases Bob Byington's latest

Matthew Odam
modam@statesman.com

Tribeca Film has announced it has purchased the North American distribution rights to Austinite Bob Byington's latest, "Somebody Up There Likes Me."

The film, at once strange, funny, cynical and touching, made its world premiere at South by Southwest, where it was introduced through song by the film's co-star and co-producer, Nick Offerman.

" 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' displays all the quirkiness, personality and distinction that defines independent filmmaking," said Geoffrey Gilmore, chief creative officer of Tribeca Enterprises.

"Infused with a biting, dry sense of humor and filled with wonderful performances from a talented cast, Bob Byington's latest film reaffirms his reputation for being one of the most wonderfully idiosyncratic directors at work today. Although the destination is familiar, the path that Byington charts is unexpected, strange and utterly unique."

The film moves at a languid pace, made palatable by the breaking of the stories into vignettes, and the amazingly tempered yet heartfelt performances from stars Keith Paulson, Offerman and Jess Weixler fit the mood perfectly. Laughter keeps the film from straying into the sadness that comes when one ponders why maintaining relationships at any level can be such a challenge.

"Little films like ours are made exponentially more buoyant by the tender ministrations of a company like Tribeca. Finding ourselves in their tasteful clutches makes me as happy as a clam at high water," Offerman said.

Tribeca plans for an early 2013 theatrical release to coincide with a host of on-demand and online offerings.

Contact Matthew Odam at 912-5986. Twitter: @Odam