Sharmill Films acquires SLEEPWALK WITH ME
A comedy by Mike Birbiglia Produced by Ira Glass of This American Life
Sharmill Films is thrilled to announce their new acquisition, Sleepwalk With Me, a new comedy starring, written and directed by comedian Mike Birbiglia, and co-written and produced by Ira Glass of US radio program This American Life.
Winner of an audience award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Sleepwalk With Me is based on Mike Birbiglia’s off-Broadway show and bestselling book.
Sleepwalk With Me will be released by Sharmill Films in select cinemas on April 4, 2013.
When an aspiring stand-up fails to express his true feelings about his girlfriend and his stalled career, his anxiety comes out in increasingly funny and dangerous sleepwalking incidents. Sleepwalk With Me stars writer and director Mike Birbiglia and features Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under”), Carol Kane ("Taxi"), James Rebhorn ("Meet the Parents"), Cristin Milioti (star of Broadway's "Once"), Grammy Award-winning folk singer Loudon Wainwright III, plus comedians Marc Maron, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Jessi Klein, Henry Phillips and David Wain.
Speaking about the April 4 release of Sleepwalk With Me by Sharmill Films, Ira Glass says:
‘I’m thrilled that Australian fans of our radio show can finally see our film. God knows they heard me talk about it enough on radio and podcast. And I'm very glad for the super-competent partners we have bringing it to them around the country.’
Mike Birbiglia first visited Australia two years ago with his one man show for the Sydney Festival.
‘It was the time of our lives,’ he says. ‘We visited the Opera House, the aquarium and I even went down to Bondi Beach and got smacked around by the waves. Most of all we loved the people of Australia. It was so exciting to see American comedy translate there. It was almost as though we spoke the same language. Wait, do we? Anyway, the point is I'm so proud of Sleepwalk With Me. I'm also excited that it won't need subtitles. Wait, will it?’
Described as ‘one of the best films ever made on the subject of stand-up comedy’ (Movies.com), the film is a favourite of filmmaker Judd Apatow (Funny People), who called Sleepwalk With Me ‘a funny and insightful movie. I could have watched it for ten hours.’ Prominent US film critic Roger Ebert proclaimed ‘I like this movie. More important, I like Mike Birbiglia in it.’
Sleepwalk With Me was named among the Top 10 Independent Films of 2012 by the National Board of Review. In its opening weekend in the US, it was reported that no first-time American director had ever earned as high a per-screen average at the box office.
As a joke, Joss Whedon, director of blockbuster hit The Avengers declared ‘war’ on Sleepwalk With Me, in a YouTube video that went viral, for fear that the indie film would detract from The Avengers’ massive box office in the US. Ironically, The Avengers’ opening weekend per screen average was significantly lower than Sleepwalk’s!
In 2012, Sharmill Films distributed the special cinema event This American Life- Live! to sold-out audiences across Australia. Entitled ‘The Invisible Made Visible’ this event included performances by Mike Birbiglia, David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and the late David Rakoff.
This American Life is a weekly hour-long radio program which debuted in 1995 on WBEZ Chicago. Now distributed by Public Radio International, it is broadcast to more than 500 radio stations reaching 1.7 million weekly listeners in the US. In Australia, This American Life is broadcast on ABC Radio National on Sundays at 7pm, and is one of the most downloaded podcasts nationally. The show has won major broadcasting awards including the Peabody, duPont-Columbia and Edward R. Murrow Awards. In 2001, Time Magazine named Ira Glass the ‘best radio host in America’. Mike Birbiglia is a frequent contributor to This American Life.