I Am, the latest film by renowned director Tom Shadyac, will be released theatrically by Paladin, it was announced by the company’s President and CEO, Mark Urman. A prismatic and probing exploration of our world, what’s wrong with it, and what we can do to make it better, I Am represents Shadyac’s first foray into non-fiction following a career as one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners, with such successful titles as Ace Ventura, Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty to his credit. Paladin is planning a February, 2011 release for the film, and has already laid the groundwork for an intensive months-long screening program that includes major film festivals as well as a broad range of college and university campuses throughout the country. The film will next be seen at the Hamptons Film Festival later this week.
I Am recounts what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, Shadyac emerged a changed man. Disillusioned with life on the A-list, he sold his house, moved to a mobile home community, and decided to start life anew. Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a camera crew, Shadyac embarks upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live. Appearing on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig, Shadyac meets with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch. An irrepressible Everyman who asks many questions but offers no easy answers, he takes the audience to places it has never been before, and presents even familiar phenomena in completely new and different ways.
About the film Urman says, “I am proud to be partnered with Tom on ‘I Am,’ a film that is at once interesting, intensely personal, and truly important. Because Tom, first and foremost, is a terrific entertainer, the film is also great fun, and I have no doubt that ‘I Am’ will be as popular in its own way as anything Tom has done before.”
Shadyac first met Urman when several film companies expressed an interest in I Am. “Mark spoke so eloquently about the film, was so passionate and detailed about a release plan, Paladin quickly became our first choice,” says the filmmaker. “Mark believes, as do we, that the film has the potential to reach a wide audience, and we are confident in his abilities and expertise to realize that potential.”
All proceeds derived from the release of I Am, in all media, will go to The Foundation for I Am, a not-for-profit established by Shadyac to fund various worthy causes and to educate the next generation about the very issues and problems explored in the film.
I Am is a Shady Acres Film presented by Flying Eye Productions in association with Homemade Canvas Productions. Shadyac’s longtime associate, Dagan Handy, produced the film, with Jacquelyn Zampella serving as co-producer and Nicole Pritchett as associate producer. Editor Jennifer Abbott, whose credits include the highly acclaimed documentary, The Corporation, helped give the film its visually dynamic style, and also served as its executive producer, along with Jonathan Watson. Academy Award-Nominee Roko Belic, (Director and Producer of Genghis Blues) was Director of Photography.