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The Orchard Secures “Operator”

May 25, 2016

SXSW Film Stars Martin Starr and Mae Whitman; produced by June Pictures, an IGX Company

Los Angeles, CA — May 25, 2016 — The Orchard announced today that the company has acquired all North American and UK rights to Logan Kibens’ directorial debut, OPERATOR, which premiered at SXSW in March. The film stars Martin Starr (“Knocked Up”) and Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”) and produced by Aaron Cruze and Kibens. The film is a production of Andrew Duncan’s June Pictures, an IGX Company. Executive producers are Duncan, Sharon Greene and Felipe A. Dieppa. Kibens’ screenplay (co-written by Sharon Greene) was incubated at the Sundance Screenwriting Lab. The Orchard will release the film digitally and on-demand in November.

OPERATOR centers around Joe (Starr), a programmer who loves data. He tracks his diet and exercise, his mood and sex life and turns all of the information into beautiful charts that help him control his often overwhelming anxiety. When Joe enlists the help of his wife Emily (Whitman), a budding comedy performer, to serve as the voice for a redesigned customer service robo-agent he is creating at work, their happy marriage becomes threatened.

“In a world of films that are laser-focused on telling stories about how technology impacts relationships, it is tough to stand out from the crowd,” said Paul Davidson, EVP of Film and TV for The Orchard. “Logan has made a film that does just that, delivering a wry sense of humor and a poignant message all told through a pair of engaging performances by Martin and Mae.”

“I am thrilled to partner with The Orchard, who saw OPERATOR at SXSW and immediately understood its dark humor and warm heart,” said Kibens. “We’ve made a movie about how hard it is to connect with people you love and we discovered that watching the film creates that connection. I am confident The Orchard has the insight and commitment to bring our story to its audience.”

The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners on behalf of June Pictures.


The Orchard is a pioneering independent film, TV and music distribution company that operates in over 25 global markets. The company, founded as a music distributor in 1997, is a groundbreaking leader in the film and television distribution space, known for its innovative technology that provides filmmakers with up-to-the minute trending data and analytics on their projects. The Orchard’s film division has enjoyed such recent successes as the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Cartel Land,” “The Overnight,” “Dior & I” and “What We Do in the Shadows.” Upcoming releases include Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville’s “The Music of Strangers,” Taika Waititi’s “The Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” Roger Ross Williams’ “Life, Animated,” Antonio Campos’ “Christine” and Pablo Narrain’s “Neruda.” The company is currently in theaters with Joachim Trier’s “Louder Than Bombs.”