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Actress Meg Ryan marks directorial debut with 'Ithaca'

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Brian O'Shea, CEO of The Exchange, announced the acquisition of worldwide sales rights to "Ithaca," written by Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers).

Adapted from William Saroyan's novel, "The Human Comedy", the film marks the directorial debut of Meg Ryan (Sleepless In Seattle, When Harry Met Sally). It will be executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman of Play Tone, and produced by Janet Brenner (The Last Five Years), Laura Ivey (The Last Five Years, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt), Ryan and Jendresen.

Set in a small town in California's San Joaquin Valley, "Ithaca" tells the story of 14-year-old Homer Macauley who is determined to be the best and fastest bicycle telegraph messenger anyone has ever seen. His older brother has gone to war, leaving Homer to look after his widowed mother, his older sister and his 4-year-old brother, Ulysses. And so it is that as spring turns to summer, 1942, Homer Macauley delivers messages of love, hope, pain and death to the good people of Ithaca. And Homer Macauley will grapple with one message that will change him forever - from a boy into a man.

With production set to begin this summer, the all-star ensemble cast includes Ryan, Sam Shepard (August: Osage County, Mud), Melanie Griffith (Working Girl), and Jack Quaid (Hunger Games). More cast will be added as production approaches.

"Ithaca is a deceptively simple story, by turns stark and lyrical. It's sometimes shockingly unsentimental and yet, by some little miracle, never cynical. I am delighted to no end to bring a tale of such vibrancy and heart to the screen" Meg Ryan said.

The Exchange will begin selling the title to buyers at the upcoming European Film Market'14 in Berlin.

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