Tribeca Film has picked up the North American distribution rights to Palo Alto, the directorial debut of Gia Coppola. Coppola is the grand-daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, marking a third generation of film directors in the family following aunt Sophia Coppola. The teen drama had its world premiere at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival where it netted warm advance reviews. The film stars James Franco, Emma Roberts, Val Kilmer and Chris Messina. Palo Alto is an edgy drama which features multiple narrative threads concerning the antics of bored teenagers in the eponymous affluent California town. The film, also written by Coppola, is based on the collection of short stories Palo Alto Stories by Franco.
The film earned strong reviews during the fall festival circuit, where critics praised Coppola’s visual sense and observational sensitivity. While there are plenty of hot-buttons themes within the film such, such as sex, drugs, drinking and depression (all involving teenage characters), Tribeca Film appears confident, as the fledgling indie distributor is betting on a traditional, theatrical release. This is a different approach to the new normal of micro-budgeted films – especially ones whose threshold for success is markedly different than that of more mainstream offerings – which are often offered on a multitude of platforms (including VOD, digital, streaming devices) all at once.
Tribeca Film will release Palo Alto sometime next spring; no official release date has been confirmed as of yet.