2ND UPDATE: IFC has finally confirmed this deal. Here’s the release, at the bottom of Deadline’s break on the deal.
UPDATE, 3:35 AM: It was easier for Deadline to splash an exclusive about the Ain’t Them Bodies Saints deal last night than it was for Sundance dealmakers to paper it. But Cassian Elwes and WME Global’s Graham Taylor and Alexis Garcia finally closed with IFC Films‘ Arianna Bocco at 3 AM Los Angeles time, for a bit more than $1 million for U.S. rights. That means the reps will hold a mini-auction for Canadian rights — after they take a nap. I heard this morning from Elwes, who said Saints will benefit from a multi-platform strategy that the dealmaker/producer road-tested with Margin Call, and which he feels is a major reason the indie market is reinvigorated.
On this deal, Elwes had his original flight canceled and had to take another back to L.A. They negotiated until he had to shut off his cell phone, and then continued when he landed. Plane rides factored into the festival more than once, as Wednesday (at 3:36 AM West Coast time), WME Global closed a deal with eOne for the cannibal tale We Are What We Are. I’d heard that the agents were on the same flight with the eOne team, and they were going back and forth — and getting testy at times but not enough where they had to be duct-taped to their seats — on the way back to LA from Park City. By the time they landed, they were all smiling, and probably papered the deal with a Delta cocktail napkin for a platform theatrical release. When I asked Elwes why, like vampires, Sundance sellers and buyers only seem to get anything done between nightfall and dawn, he said: “Unfortunately, you watch the movies during the day and the only time to make a deal is when most people are asleep.” A few more deals and then these agents and buyers all deserve a long winter’s nap when this festival ends, as do the insomniac journalists who stalk them into the wee hours. Read More »
The Sundance acquisition logjam appears to be breaking. Deal-making is close on Austenland, and a deal just closed on The Look Of Love, with offers starting to be made on several other films. Word is that FilmDistrict is in talks for Austenland, which stars Keri Russell as an obsessed Jane Austen fan who visits a theme park based on the famed author’s work and her search for romance. Pic’s repped by UTA, which tells me this hasn’t been decided yet.
At the same time, a deal is closing for IFC to acquire North American rights to the Michael Winterbottom-directed Steve Coogan-starrer The Look Of Love. Coogan plays Paul Raymond, who ran Soho’s notorious Raymond Revue Bar and Men Only magazine. UTA consulted for Studiocanal on the deal. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: AMC‘s Sundance Selects is closing a deal for North American rights to The Summit, the Nick Ryan-directed film about 24 climbers who attempt to scale K2, the most dangerous mountain on the planet. By the time … Read More »
The indie romantic comedy starring Lizzy Caplan and Community‘s Alison Brie and based on Jeffrey Brown’s graphic novels premiered at Sundance this year. It was picked up in May by IFC Films. Save The Date is getting a digital release today on on IFC Films Video on … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: IFC Films has picked up the U.S rights to Java Heat. They plan a nationwide theatrical release for the action thriller in 2013. Java Heat is directed by Conor Allyn, who wrote the screenplay with his … Read More »
Mike Fleming told you this was coming last week, as IFC Films was this close to making a deal during the Toronto Film Festival, where Frances Ha screened. Here’s the release:
New York, NY (September 20, 2012) – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 New York Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North and Latin American rights to director Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA. Baumbach wrote the screenplay with Greta Gerwig who stars in the film. Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver and Michael Zegen co-star. Baumbach, Lila Yacoub, Scott Rudin, and Rodrigo Teixeira produced the picture, with Fernando Loureiro and Lourenço Sant’ Anna executive producing for RT Features. FRANCES HA made its world premiere at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival and also played at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.
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UPDATE, 12:19 PM: This is the time of a big movie festival when IFC starts taking off the table the titles that didn’t turn into big theatrical release auctions. The company made a big play Tuesday for the Neil Jordan-directed vampire tale Byzantium, and now the distributor is this close to closing a deal on the Noah Baumbach-directed black-and-white film Frances Ha. We’ll post when it’s final.
EARLIER: 11:19 AM:
TORONTO, CANADA (September 13, 2012) – IFC Films announced today from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to director Mira Nair’s THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST starring Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Riz Ahmed in the title roles.
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IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Welcome To The Punch, the British thriller written and directed by Eran Creevy. Mark Strong stars as a former criminal forced to return to the underworld, … Read More »
Originally titled Predisposed when it was snapped up by IFC Films after its Sundance premiere, Why Stop Now is about a piano prodigy (Jessie Eisenberg) and his mother (Melissa Leo), who struggles with drug addiction. When she plans to enter rehab the day of her son’s … Read More »
IFC Films’ Your Sister’s Sister trumped the weekend’s openers in a generally quiet weekend in the specialty box office. The Lynn Shelton-directed feature debuted in 13 theaters, grossing $117K for a respectable $9K average. An IFC Films spokesperson said, “It was a solid opening weekend for the film as we will open the top 30 markets this coming weekend.” Sundance doc Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present bowed in two theaters, grossing just under $11K for a middling $5,495 average. HBO Films came on board for the project after seeing its installation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Music Box Films is handling theatrical. Fellow Sundance doc Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap directed by Ice-T bowed in 157 theaters, grossing $150K for a paltry $955 average.
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Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers has been picked up just before its premiere Wednesday in the Cannes Film Festival‘s Directors’ Fortnight section. IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the dark comedy, a StudioCanal, Film4 and BFI Presentation … Read More »
The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and at least two distributors are bowing their Cannes cache this weekend. Zeitgeist Films is debuting Elena in the U.S. The film won awards in Cannes and elsewhere before its long (and somewhat bizarre) road to the screen. Sundance Selects, meanwhile will roll out French César and Cannes winner Polisse in theaters and day-and-date VOD using some of its past offerings as a distribution template. Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s directorial debut Virginia opens in limited release and documentary Never Stand Still starts its rollout in New York before heading to other cities.
Director Andrei Zvyagintsev
Writer: Oleg Negin
Cast: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Aleksey Rozin
Distributor: Zeitgeist Films
Elena started as an English-language project spearheaded by a British producer who had an idea for a film about the Apocalypse. Four directors from four continents were attached, with Zvyagintsev set to represent Europe, but the project fell through. The director didn’t want to give up and pitched it to a number of Russian producers who declined, but finally met producer Alexander Rodnyansky. “It took me one night to read the script, call him back and say that I am ready to produce and finance it,” said Rodnyansky told Deadline. “It has been a very rewarding experience both from the creative and financial points of view.”
With Russian financing set and a Russian-language script, Zvyagintsev cast relative newcomer Nadezhda Markina as the lead, which was a risk. “She’s not a celebrity so to speak,” said Rodnyansky. “In fact, her filmography list is rather short — some minor roles in a few films or TV series.” But the choice turned out well, Rodnyansky said, praising her “nuanced” and “multi-dimensional” approach to the role, which also garnered her some acting nods including the Durban International Film Festival and the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal. Also in the cast is Andrey Smirnov, a big name in Russia, having directing some Soviet-era classics. Forced to take a hiatus from filmmaking, he took up acting and appeared in Elena, though even that almost come together due to a conflict with his own return behind the camera after a nearly three decade absence. After a latenight persuasion session aided by a bottle of Calvados, Zvyagintsev along with his wife and son convinced the director/actor to stay on board. “They managed to arrange a special shooting schedule for Smirnov so that he could have fewer shooting days and not to have a long break in his editing,” noted Rodnyansky. Read More »
IFC Films acquired North American rights to the Michael Mohan-directed romantic comedy Save The Date. The pic, scripted by Mohan and graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown and Egan Reich, stars Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, and Mark Webber. Jordan Horowitz, Michael Roiff, and Michael Huffington produced the project, with Gary Gilbert executive producing. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Read More »
The weekend’s big box office news is of course Lionsgate’s monolithic Hunger Games, but new specialty rollouts managed to have the odds favor them as well, most notably Samuel Goldwyn Films’ October Baby and Sony … Read More »
This weekend’s specialty offerings are comparatively light compared to last week’s openings. A few of this week’s new limited releases are forgoing the typical New York and Los Angeles showings, with Music Box’s The Deep Blue Sea … Read More »