In order to help get the word out about Sleepwalk, which is coming off a successful festival run that started with big buzz at Sundance, Birbiglia and his co-writer Ira Glass (host of “This American Life”) have teamed up to make this funny short film about the movie. “The thing about independent films is that it’s really hard to get them into movie theaters,” Birbiglia tells Vulture. “They want movies that are remakes of other movies, they want superheroes to be in them, and this is a small heartfelt comedy that we really love and that audiences have loved at festivals. All these people have been e-mailing us asking when it’s coming to their town, and it’s not unless they request it!”
The film, which stars Birbiglia as a commitment-wary man given to increasingly dangerous sleepwalking, will be opening in New York on August 24, and though plenty of indie films never expand much further than a handful of big cities, Birbiglia and Glass are determined to do things differently. Birbiglia says he compiled a list of the 200 theaters most often used by distributor IFC Films, then exhorted his fans on Twitter (while Glass leveraged his “This American Life” listener base) to tweet the hashtag #bringsleepwalk at the theater closest to them. “At this point, we’ve almost tripled our theater count, just through this grassroots campaign,” says Birbiglia, noting that the jump from 34 theaters to 98 has happened in only two weeks.
Birbiglia and Glass have encouraged fans to tweet the hashtag #bringsleepwalk at the theater closest to them. Through this grassroots campaign the theaters have jumped from 34 to 98 in only two weeks.
SLEEPWALK WITH ME opens in theaters on August 24, 2012!
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“I’m going to tell you a story, and it’s true….I always have to tell people that.” So asserts comedian-turned-playwright-turned-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia directly to the viewer at the outset of his autobiographically inspired, fictional feature debut. Birbiglia wears his incisive wit on his sleeve while portraying a cinematic surrogate. We are thrust into the tale of a burgeoning stand-up comedian struggling with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship threatening to race out of his control, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.
Based on the successful one-man show, Sleepwalk With Me engages in the kind of passionate and personal storytelling that transfigures intimate anguish into comic art. Produced and co-written by Ira Glass (This American Life), Sleepwalk With Me features a stellar supporting cast that includes Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), Carol Kane (Taxi), James Rebhorn (Meet the Parents), Cristin Milioti (30 Rock), and a sampling from the who’s who of today’s stand-up scene.