9 items from 2015
In its second Sundance deal, newbie The Orchard is buying North American rights for about $2 million to Sundance Premiere title "Digging for Fire." (Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has international rights.) Co-written by Swanberg and his "Drinking Buddies" star Jake Johnson ("New Girl"), the 35 mm portrait of married Angelenos stars Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt tracks the anxious couple after they come across a bone and a gun. Produced by Swanberg, Alicia Van Couvering (Lena Dunham's "Tiny Furniture," Sundance 2015 title "Cop Car") and Johnson, the film is about how marriage should be "two individuals agreeing to be in a relationship, rather than two people melting into one thing," said Swanberg at the Sundance Q&A. According to Johnson, actors love working with Swanberg because he allows them to participate in the »
- Anne Thompson
[Exclusive Update 12:45 p.m.: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has bought international rights to “Digging for Fire,” which means the film will be distributed worldwide.]
An individual with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap that the deal is worth around $2 million.
The film, which made its world premiere earlier this week at Sundance, co-stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick and Mike Birbiglia. The supporting cast includes Sam Elliott, Judith Light, Ron Livingston, Melanie Lynskey Jenny Slate, Timothy Simons and Jane Adams.
“Digging for Fire” follows the discovery »
- Jeff Sneider
Sundance: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired international rights and The Orchard has picked up North America on Joe Swanberg’s drama. In separate deals, Ten Thousand Saints and Fresh Dressed also sold.
The story follows a married couple who head off on separate adventures after they discover a bone and a gun.
Screen Media Films has acquired Us rights to Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s comedy-drama Ten Thousand Saints starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emily Mortimer, Julianne Nicholson, Emile Hirsch and Ethan Hawke. Screen Media Films will release in late summer via day-and-date theatrical and VOD after brokering the deal with CAA.Samuel Goldwyn Films and StyleHaul have acquired North American rights to Sacha Jenkins’ documentary Fresh Dressed, about the evolution »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Focus Features boutique arm Focus World has acquired Us and UK rights to director Jon Watts' Sundance premiere "Cop Car," starring Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham and Camryn Manheim. Produced by Cody Ryder, Alicia Van Couvering, Sam Bisbee, Andrew Kortschak and Jon Watts, this cat-and-mouse turns on a "a harrowing crash course full of mayhem as a pair of 10-year-old boys attempt to navigate the back roads behind the wheel of a seemingly abandoned police car that they have no clue how to operate," per the official synopsis. Things go from bad to worse when a small-town sheriff sets his sights on getting the car back—at any cost. Reviews have been solid. The Guardian praises Kevin Bacon's performance especially: "Bacon, sporting a creepy moustache, is great, and both boys give strong, naturalistic performances." Focus World is planning a simultaneous theatrical and VOD release of »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Focus World has acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to “Cop Car,” following its Sundance premiere in the midnight section.
“Cop Car” centers on a pair of 10-year-old boys attempting to navigate the back roads behind the wheel of a seemingly abandoned police car that they have no clue how to operate. The script is by Watts and Christopher D. Ford.
The deal was negotiated by Beth Lemberger and Anjay Nagpal of Focus with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.
- Dave McNary
Focus Features’ alternative distribution initiative Focus World has acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to Jon Watts’ thriller “Cop Car,” which stars Kevin Bacon as a corrupt sheriff whose vehicle is stolen by two 10-year-old boys.
Focus World is planning a simultaneous theatrical and VOD release of the film but has not yet set a date. In the UK, the film will be distributed via Uphe Content Group.
- Jeff Sneider
Buyers will be out in full force this week in Park City but with so many options to choose from, it helps to have a cheat sheet to prioritize the must-see acquisition titles at Sundance. After talking to buyers and sellers alike, here are the 10 most promising titles with the loudest buzz heading into this year’s festival.
The Bronze (WME)
What’s the Deal?: The highlight of Sundance’s opening night lineup is this raunchy comedy from director Bryan Buckley featuring co-writer Melissa Rauch in what could prove to be a star-making performance. The “Big Bang Theory” actress plays a washed-up Olympic gymnast whose local celebrity is threatened by the arrival of a promising young gymnast seeking a mentor. Sundance describes the foul-mouthed protagonist as “a lovably loathsome character who makes Tonya Harding look like Grace Kelly,” so perhaps this will be the next “Bad Words?”
First Screening: Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:30 p.m. – Eccles
What’s the Deal?: Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt play East L.A. parents on the verge of a nervous breakdown as they juggle marital and parenting duties. Things get weird when she enjoys a night on the town with her girls and he takes the opportunity to invite his buddies over for smoking, drinking and carousing. Joe Swanberg’s latest may be his most commercial film yet, and it certainly features his most high-profile cast. Between Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Jenny Slate, Melanie Lynskey, Timothy Simons, Ron Livington, comedian Mike Birbiglia and veterans Sam Elliott and Judith Light, there’s someone for everyone.
First Screening: Monday, Jan. 26, 9:45 p.m. – Eccles »
- Jeff Sneider
Joe Swanberg’s “Digging for Fire” debuts at Sundance this week and TheWrap has exclusively obtained a new image of star/co-writer Jake Johnson enjoying himself while his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) is away.
In “Digging for Fire,” the discovery of a bone and a gun sends a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.
Johnson and DeWitt are joined in the film by Anna Kendrick, »
- Jeff Sneider
Over the years, Filmmaker has run several “Sundance Survival Guide” pieces. (One from 2012 we continue to recommend is Alicia Van Couvering’s “Mistakes Were Made.” ) Here, fresh for 2015, is new one from Mynette Louie, President of Gamechanger Films and producer of Land Ho! (Sundance 2014), California Solo (Sundance 2012), and Children of Invention (Sundance 2009). Check back tomorrow for a grab-bag of advice — including several tips we’ve never run before in any form — from several recent Sundance veterans. 1. Empower your crew to promote the film, and show them your thanks. Sundance is not just about […] »
- Mynette Louie
9 items from 2015
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