Mike Fleming

Sony Pictures Classics bought North American, Australian and New Zealand rights to Higher Ground, the directorial debut of actress Vera Farmiga that made its debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. She stars with John Hawkes (Oscar-nominated for Winter’s Bone), Donna Murphy and Joshua Leonard. The film is an adaptation of This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost, by Carolyn S. Briggs, who wrote the script with Tim Metcalfe. It’s a study of a woman’s internal struggle with the primary love relationships in her life over two decades. The child of a traumatic divorce, she and her partner dedicate their lives to God and a small hippie church, but some of the machinations of that church give her pause. CAA brokered the deal.

Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard and exec Dylan Leiner add another acquisition title to what proved to be a bountiful Sundance. They made preemptive buys of  the Michael Shannon-starrer Take Shelter and the Morgan Spurlock documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. At the festival, they  bought the John Michael McDonagh-directed The Guard, the Irish action comedy which stars Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle.