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‘California Typewriter’: Documentary Featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer Gets Late Summer Release

Variety logo Variety 3/28/2017 Dave McNary
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Gravitas Ventures has bought U.S. rights to the documentary “California Typewriter,” which will open the 41st Cleveland International Film Festival on Wednesday.

“California Typewriter,” which premiered at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival, will open theatrically in Los Angeles, New York and a dozen additional markets in the late summer.

The title is derived from one of the last remaining typewriter shops, located in Berkeley, Calif., which plays a major role in the film. Run by Herbert Permillion III and his family, the business is shown attempting to balance financial security with its decades-long passion for selling and restoring typewriters.

Director Doug Nichol made the self-funded film over a period of five years. “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,” he said.

The film includes interviews with artist Jeremy Mayer, who makes “typewriter assemblage sculpture”; Martin Howard, who’s collected typewriters for nearly 30 years and is on a quest to add a rare Sholes and Glidden machine his collection; Tom Hanks, who has over 250 machines in his collection; musician John Mayer; playwright Sam Shepard and author David McCullough.

“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.”

Nichol photographed with John Benet. Executive producers are Charlotte Chatton, James Redford and Dana Schwartz. The deal was negotiated by Gallagher for Gravitas and Kevin Iwashina and Zac Bright from Preferred Content on behalf of the filmmakers.

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