Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
The first weekend after Oscars brings a variety of specialty films making their U.S. theatrical debuts. South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook‘s first English-language thriller Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman, hopes to lure Park fans and new converts, while Tribeca Film hopes to draw audiences for its award winning and Oscar-nominated film War Witch. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and Jeff Bridges are just two of the marquee names behind hunger documentary A Place At The Table, which Magnolia Pictures rolls out Friday. Fellow doc Genius On Hold looks at a troubled father-son relationship (one a telecommunications genius, the other a jewel thief) in what may be a precursor to a bigger narrative feature down the road. Variance Films also taps the father-son relationship in the drama The End Of Love.
Director: Park Chan-wook
Writers: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Wentworth Miller penned the screenplay for Stoker under a pseudonym, which eventually made its way to producer Michael Costigan and his colleagues. The story centers on India, whose mysterious Uncle Charlie comes to live with her and her unstable mother following the death of her father. India suspects that her charming uncle has ulterior motives although she also becomes increasingly infatuated with him. “We wondered whether [Park Chan-wook] would read Hollywood scripts as did Searchlight,” Costigan said of the Korean-based filmmaker. “So we thought, ‘let’s give it a shot’. Fortunately his group in the U.S. liked it and he wanted to talk about it. And not only did he want to talk, he started pitching ideas.” READ MORE »
Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to After Tiller. The documentary debuted last month at the Sundance Film Festival. Oscilloscope plans a nationwide theatrical release followed by VOD, digital, and other formats. Directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, After Tiller looks at the lives and practices of the only four doctors in America who still perform third-trimester abortions. Specifically, the film examines the challenges and dangers they face in the aftermath of the 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller in a church by an anti-abortionist. Tiller also performed the procedure. “Martha and Lana have created a moving and unique exploration of one of the most incendiary topics of our time, and they’ve done so in an informative, thought-provoking, and compassionate way. We were so impressed with their ability to present such a controversial issue with such respect and complexity, allowing the film to resonate equally for people both for and against the procedure,” said Oscilloscope’s David Laub and Dan Berger in a statement Friday. The film was screened at Sundance in January under heavy security. Read More »
BREAKING: Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to Hannah Fidell’s feature directorial debut A Teacher, which premiered last month at Sundance and heads to Austin next for SXSW. The distributor plans a theatrical, video-on-demand and digital release later this year. The film stars Lindsay Burdge as an unraveling young high school teacher who starts an affair with one of her teenage students, played by Will Brittain. What starts as a seemingly innocent fling becomes increasingly complex—and dangerous as she begins to melt down. Read More »
The hot hot buzz titles at Sundance have been brokered, and while nobody involved in that festival seems to have yet caught up on sleep, the festival is fast fading in the rear view mirror. So what happens to the films that came in with big hopes but haven’t yet sold? Are they headed to the movie equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys? Hardly, says Voltage chief Nicolas Chartier.
He came to Sundance with two films, and watched the Joe Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon’s Addiction quickly sell for close to a festival record $4 million with a $25 million P&A commitment for summer release by Relativity Media. His other Sundance pic, The Shia La Beouf-starrer The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman directed by Fredrik Bond, didn’t walk off the slopes with a deal. Read More »
QED International announced today that it will handle non-North American distribution of Drake Doremus’ Sundance Film Festival title Breathe In. President of international sales Daniel Diamond … Read More »
These small Sundance deals continue trickling in. Phase 4 Films acquired Milkshake, the David Andalman/Mariko Munro-directed dark comedy that played in the festival’s NEXT Program. Cinetic Media sold it.
EXCLUSIVE: The Sundance Film Festival ended yesterday, but there will be a flood of deals that continue for the next few weeks, leading into Berlin. Monterey Media has acquired I Used To Be Darker, the third film by rising writer/director … Read More »
Fruitvale and Blood Brother were the big winners tonight at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards. Fruitvale, about the fatal shooting of 22-year old Oscar Grant on San Francisco’s BART by security guards in 2009, won both the Grand Jury … Read More »
Hot off director Zachery Heinzerling’s U.S. Documentary Directing win tonight at this year’s Sundance Film Festival Awards, Cutie and the Boxer has been picked up in North America and France by Radius–TWC. Check out the release below:
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EXCLUSIVE: Another script developed at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab is being made into a movie. TideRock Media and Taggart Productions said today that they’re taking Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s feature debut Ad Inexplorata into production this summer. The film, which Rosenberg will also direct, is about an American astronaut on a one-way mission to Mars. The project also received support from Creative Capital, San Francisco Film Society and the Indian Paintbrush Fellowship. Josh Penn, Matthew Parker, Jason Michael Berman and Thomas B. Fore will produce Ad Inexplorata. Penn and Parker were producers on Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which was one of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s breakout films and is now up for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture. Parker also produced Mother Of George, which was at this year’s Festival. Berman and Fore produced LUV, which played during last year’s Sundance. Michael Nardelli will serve as executive producer.
Related: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ Back in Theaters Friday For Oscar Push
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UPDATE, 12 PM: Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed Deadline’s Sundance scoop that it acquired North American and UK rights to Before Midnight, the Richard Linklater-directed film that captivated fest audiences and continues the relationship between characters played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as the travel the world. The official release appears at the bottom of the original exclusive break.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 10:52 AM: I hear Sony Pictures Classics has closed a Sundance deal for Before Midnight, the third installment of the Richard Linklater-directed series that began with 1995′s Before Sunrise and continued with 2004′s Before Sunset. You don’t get many trilogies at Sundance, but this one premiered to raves last Sunday at Eccles Theatre in the Premiere category, and seven buyers have slowly been nipping at it ever since when they haven’t been distracted by the other auctions. This deal is well into seven-figures for North America and multiple territories including the UK, I hear. It shapes up as one of the big deals of the fest. SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard also bought Kill Your Darlings and Austenland (which was bought by Sony Worldwide Acquisitions), so it was a most productive festival for them. Read More »
Three days after CBS Films acquired domestic rights to Toy’s House at the Sundance Film Festival, QED International has scooped up non-North American rights to the coming-of-age comedy. It’s the first deal for John Hegeman, the former New Regency marketing boss who was appointed QED’s president of worldwide marketing and acquisitions just ahead of Sundance. Park City was his first task with the new title. Here’s today’s release on Toy’s House:
LOS ANGELES (January 25, 2013) – QED International has acquired international distribution rights to TOY’S HOUSE, it was announced today by Worldwide President of Marketing and Acquisitions John Hegeman. Under the agreement, QED will distribute TOY’S HOUSE in all markets outside North America. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and has just been picked up for US distribution by CBS Films which is eyeing a 2013 release date.
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