EXCLUSIVE: A film about two abandoned and scared boys trying to survive in New York City has found a new home. Codeblack Films has picked up US distribution for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. The George Tillman Jr-directed film made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25. With 13-year-old Skylan Brooks as Mister and Ethan Dizon as 9-year-old Pete, Inevitable Defeat also stars Jeffrey Wright, Jordin Sparks, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie. Michael Starrbury wrote the movie. Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, and Bob Teitel produced with Alicia Keys, Susan Lewis, Clay Floren, Aimee Shieh, Julio Depietro, Keith Kjarval, Mary Vernieu, and Amy Nauiokas executive producing. Inevitable Defeat was the debut of multiplatinum songstress Keys as a producer. Codeblack Films was launched by Lionsgate in May 2012 to develop and distribute films and other media for the urban market. The deal with the Lionsgate division was negotiated by CAA on behalf of the filmmakers with Marc Danon, Lionsgate’s VP Acquisitions & Business Development, and Jean Chi, SVP Business & Legal Affairs.
EXCLUSIVE: Following in the footsteps of Beasts Of The Southern Wild or Fruitvale Station, the 13 projects selected today for this June’s Sundance Institute Directors and Screenwriters Labs could end up as Oscar nominees or at Cannes too. The projects’ origins range from the U.S. and the U.K. to Mexico, Peru, Germany and Somalia with the filmmakers’ backgrounds in photography, advertising and documentary not to mention a couple of past BAFTA and Sundance winners. This round of Sundance fellows will work with established filmmakers such as Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, On The Road director Walter Salles, author/screenwriter Walter Mosley, Oscar nominee Ed Harris and Sundance founder Robert Redford. The Directors Lab runs from May 27 to June 20 at the Sundance Resort in Utah while the Screenwriters Lab goes from June 22 to June 27. (see the full list of the June 2013 Sundance Institute’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs below)
CNN Films has picked up domestic TV rights to the nuclear power documentary Pandora’s Promise. The cable news network will air the Robert Stone-directed film in November after its theatrical release. Pandora’s Promise made its U.S. debut this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Going inside the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and to Chernobyl, the Oscar-nominated Stone chronicles how nuclear power could provide a solution to climate change and the personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have shifted from being anti-nuclear to favoring of the source. The deal with CNN Films was negotiated by Dan Cogan of Impact Partners and Andrew Herwitz, president of the Film Sales Company on behalf of the filmmakers. Abramorama is handling the film’s domestic theatrical distribution.
April 16, 2013 – The Film Arcade and Paramount Home Media Distribution announced today the acquisition of the breakout Sundance comedy A.C.O.D. The Film Arcade will release the film theatrically throughout North America and Paramount Home Media Distribution will manage domestic home entertainment, television licensing and digital distribution, as well as all international distribution.
A.C.O.D., which comedically explores the world of Adult Children of Divorce, marks the directorial debut of Stuart Zicherman (creator of J.J. Abrams/ABC’s “Six Degrees”), who co-wrote the script with Ben Karlin, a producer and writer on “Modern Family” and previously on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. The film features an all-star cast of comedic talent including Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”, Friends with Kids), Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers), Catherine O’Hara (For Your Consideration), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”), Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four), Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Clark Duke (“The Office”) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World). Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures (Broken City, upcoming At Any Price) fully financed A.C.O.D. and Schwarzman produced the film alongside Karlin and Tim Perell.
The third installment in the Richard Linklater-Julie Delpy-Ethan Hawke trilogy generated serious heat at Sundance this year. Seven buyers circled Before Midnight after its well-received premiere there until Sony Pictures Classics won out by sealing of the biggest deals of the festival. This one follows Jesse and …
Cohen Media Group acquired U.S. distribution rights to Breathe In, the Drake Doremus-scripted and -directed drama that stars Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan. The film was one of a couple Sundance pics about a teacher who enters into an illicit relationship with a student. Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling of Super Crispy Entertainment produced, along with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal of Indian Paintbrush, which also financed the film. QED International remains on board handling international distribution. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. CMG is gearing up for a full theatrical release in fourth-quarter 2013.
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.
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.
New York, NY – February 8, 2013 – Kino Lorber is pleased to announce that it has acquired all U.S. rights to Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival. This fourth film from acclaimed indie auteur Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation, Beeswax) is an exceptionally inventive comedy that won the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award honoring a film whose theme is science or technology. It was also previously awarded a Tribeca Film Institute Sloan grant in 2012. Computer Chess will have its International Premiere next week at the Berlin Film Festival and will also be presented in the U.S. at the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin. A national theatrical release is planned for mid summer or early fall.
NEW YORK, NY (February 4, 2013) – IFC Films announced today that the company is acquiring North American rights to writer-director Sebastían Silva’s CRYSTAL FAIRY, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film, with a screenplay by Silva, stars Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva, and was produced by Juan de Dios Larraín and Pablo Larraín. CRYSTAL FAIRY was the recipient of the Best Director Award in World Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival.
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.
January 28, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Participant Media has acquired North American rights to Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites’ documentary 99%–The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film, directed by Ewell & Aites, along with Lucian Read and Nina Krstic, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Following its theatrical run, the film will have its world television premiere on Participant’s new TV channel targeting millennials, scheduled to launch in August.
NEW YORK, NY (January 28, 2013) – While looking to expand its burgeoning slate from this year’s Sundance offerings, the 108 Media/Paladin partnership has just snared one of the most honored and acclaimed films from last year’s event, having acquired worldwide rights to Musa Syeed’s VALLEY OF SAINTS, it