Gravitas Ventures has announced the acquisition of U.S. rights to California Typewriter, which is set to show tomorrow evening at Tower City Cinemas as the Opening Night Film of the 41st Cleveland International Film Festival. The critically acclaimed documentary launched at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival. It will open theatrically in Los Angeles, New York and a dozen additional markets in the late summer.
California Typewriter is named after one of the last remaining typewriter shops in Berkeley, Calif., which plays a major role in the film. Run by Herbert Permillion III and his family, the business is depicted trying to balance financial security with its decades-long passion for selling and restoring typewriters.
“The film was a real labor of love for everyone involved and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Gravitas and their team,” said Director Doug Nichol, who made the self-funded film over a period of five years.
With the rise of computers and smart phones, typewriters are teetering on the edge of obscurity — much to the chagrin of nearly everyone profiled in this emotionally moving and entertaining documentary. The film masterfully interweaves stories including artist Jeremy Mayer, whose “typewriter assemblage sculpture” uses typewriter parts to assemble intricate, human-like works of art, and expert Martin Howard, who’s collected typewriters for nearly 30 years and is on a quest to add a legendary, rare Sholes and Glidden machine to a collection that holds typewriters dating all the way back to 1880.
Nuanced typewriter testimonials from super fans Tom Hanks (who has over 250 machines in his collection), musician John Mayer, playwright Sam Shepard and author David McCullough add incisive perspective. California Typewriter is a love letter to the enduring societal, historical, creative, and artistic value of these machines.
“In exploring the history and fondness people still carry for the typewriter, we are forced to confront an even larger question of how technology factors into our lives and what it’s pushing away,” stated Gravitas Founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher. “It is timely in this age of growth in tech to bring these thought provoking stories to the big screen.”
California Typewriter was directed by Doug Nichol (Sting: Ten Summoners Tales) who also photographed and edited the film. Nichol produced with John Benet (All God’s Children Can Dance). Executive Producers are Charlotte Chatton, James Redford (Paper Tigers) and Dana Schwartz (The United States of Detroit). The deal was negotiat