Capitalizing on the media frenzy surrounding the newly announced Pope Francis, Sundance Selects announced today the re-release of Nanni Moretti’s papal comedy-drama We Have A Pope (Habemus Papam). The Cannes selection first debuted in theaters last April, when IFC gave it a minimal release that took in just $548,115. The pic, about a cardinal (Michel Piccoli) panicking after being elected Pope, will open in re-release next Wednesday in New York and will be available digitally via iTunes, Amazon, XBox, GooglePlay, Sony PlayStation, and SundanceNOW. Moretti directed from his script co-written with Francesco Piccolo and co-stars in the film with Piccoli and Jerzy Stuhr.
BREAKING: In what I’m told is a low seven-figure minimum guarantee, Sundance Selects acquired North American and Latin American rights to Alexandre Moors’ debut feature Blue Caprice, which debuted at Sundance last January.
Pic stars Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson and Leo Fitzpatrick. It tells the story about an abandoned boy (Richmond) adopted by a dangerous father figure (Washington), who brings the youth into the horrific Beltway sniper attacks that terrorized the Baltimore and D.C. region. Story is told from the point of view of the two killers, whose distorted father-son relationship facilitated their long and bloody journey across America.
Script is by R.F.I. Porto, and the film’s produced by Isen Robbins, Aimee Schoof, Ron Simons, Stephen Tedeschi, Brian O’Carroll, Kim Jackson and Will Rowbotham. The film will open Film Society of Lincoln Center and MOMA’s 2013 New Directors/New Films Festival,
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: “Alexandre Moors has made one of the most distinct and haunting American independent films of the year featuring unforgettable performances by Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond.”
Arianna Bocco and Jeff Deutchman made the deal with John Sloss and Dana O’Keefe at Cinetic Media.
EXCLUSIVE: When you see a filmmaker like Martin Scorsese or Jonathan Demme put their brand names on movies, you wonder how involved they get. Scorsese put his imprimatur on two films this month – Luc Besson’s Malavita and Andy Lau’s Revenge of the Green Dragons. Now, Demme has taken a “presenting” credit on Adam Leon‘s Gimme The Loot, hoping his contribution will be that people notice a worthy indie when it gets released in late March by IFC Films/Sundance Selects. Gimme The Loot won Best Narrative Feature at last year’s SXSW. Leon is a current nominee for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Film.
Said Demme: “Knowing that Gimme The Loot is — astonishingly — Adam Leon’s first feature most certainly adds to the film’s extraordinary sense of achievement. But the sheer entertainment value of this very smart, hilarious, and heartfelt movie made by young filmmakers about contemporary young people, filmed and played with great freshness and originality, is what makes Gimme The Loot a truly thrilling experience — this is really one crazily accomplished American motion picture debut.”
Can’t believe I’m writing this, but AMC’s Sundance Selects is so far dominating the acquisitions marketplace at the Sundance Film Festival, even if it’s doing small documentary deals. They’ve just bought North American on Dirty Wars, the Richard Rowley-directed pic. That follows yesterday’s deal for The Summit. Here’s the announcement:
PARK CITY, UT (January 20, 2013) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Richard Rowley’s DIRTY WARS, which premiered in the U.S. documentary competition section. The film, with a screenplay by Jeremy Scahill and David Riker, was produced by Anthony Arnove, Brenda Coughlin, and Scahill.
Rowley’s film follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill on an unexpected journey as he chasesdown the truth behind America’s covert wars.
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 the climbing is done 48 hours later, 11 have been killed or vanished. AMC is the parent company of both Sundance Selects and IFC Films and IFC Midnight.
The picture premiered last night at the Egyptian Theatre, and is part of the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The company has a history of big success with similar-minded documentaries including The Void, Buck, Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Pina. Submarine brokered the deal.
Arnon Goldfinger’s The Flat won the editing award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival as well as the Israeli Academy Award for best documentary. It follows the director as he cleans out the Tel Aviv apartment of his recently deceased grandmother, who lived there for decades after fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s. A complicated, troubled and taboo family history is revealed in the process. Sundance Selects plans an October 19 theatrical release. “Goldfinger is able to take us on a remarkable journey through history and gives us a truly unique look at the way different generations viewed the holocaust”, Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring said. “This is one of the year’s great documentary discoveries, and we are thrilled to work with Arnon and [producer] Thomas Kufus to bring this to the largest possible audience.”
Sundance Selects will release the Lucy Mulloy-directed Una Noche in North America. The film premiered in Berlin and plays in competition at Tribeca where it won Best New Narrative Director, Best Cinematography and Best Actor in a Narrative Film for Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nunez Florian. Pic follows a day in the life of two Cuban teens as they dream of escaping poverty and heading 90 miles to Miami. This is the film where actress Anailin de la Rua and Nunez Florian actually used the trip to New York as a way to escape Cuba and seek political asylum in the U.S. UTA and XYZ Films sold it.
CANNES, FRANCE (May 27, 2012) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring all US rights to LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE directed and written by former Palme d’Or winner Abbas Kiarostami (CERTIFIED COPY, THE TASTE OF CHERRY). The film is an MK2 and Eurospace Production. It stars Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno and Ryo Kase. It was produced by Marin Karmitz (MK2) and Kenzo Horikoshi (Eurospace), and associate produced by Nathanael Karmitz and Charles Gillibert. LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE made its world premiere in competition earlier in the week at the Cannes Film Festival.
Cannes Film Festival favorite Ken Loach’s latest competition film The Angels’ Share has been acquired by Sundance Selects. The sister label of IFC Films scooped up all U.S. rights to the bittersweet comedy, about a Glasgow boy who is given one final chance to stay out of prison. It marks the company’s fourth tie-up with the UK director, including the 2006 Cannes Palme d’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which became Loach’s most successful U.S. release. IFC/Sundance also released Loach’s It’s A Free World and Looking For Eric. The deal was made by Sundance/IFC’s Arianna Bocco with Wild Bunch’s Carole Baraton on behalf of the filmmakers.
Yesterday, IFC Films acquired Ben Wheatley’s Directors Fortnight title Sightseers. The company also has dibs on four other films at Cannes: Walter Salles’ competition film On The Road, Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills, Adam Leon’s Un Certain Regard pic Gimme The Loot and the Directors Fortnight title Room 237.
Magnolia Pictures appears to have another strong documentary on its 2012 slate. The distributor bowed Kevin Macdonald’s documentary Marley at 42 locations Friday 4/20 (a coincidental date?) to impressive numbers theatrically, averaging over $6K per site and a taking a weekend gross of more than a quarter million dollars. Magnolia has also spun box office gold with doc Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, which has had a seven-week run, topping out over $1.5 million. Marley was No. 1 “in all but a handful of complexes and usually by multiples over the next highest film,” Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles told Deadline, “which is great news for expanding in the next couple of weeks. In addition, we were the number six film in all iTunes on Friday, which bodes extremely well for the digital and VOD platforms. This looks to be an extremely profitable film for us.” Marley opened as Screen Gems’ Think Like A Man became North America’s number one movie, averaging $16,377 in 2,015 theaters.
The specialty weekend’s per screen average winner, however, goes to Sony Pictures Classics’ debut of Darling Companion, which averaged $11,574 from four locations. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, Darling Companion producer Anthony Bregman told Deadline that unlike his previous baby boomer films, this one had to be made as an independent film. In other openers, Sundance Selects’ Goodbye First Love bowed more modestly also at four locations, averaging $5,300, while its sister label IFC Midnight opened The Moth Diaries in two theaters, averaging a sluggish $1,200. Entertainment One’s Jesus Henry Christ launched comparatively stronger, but nevertheless mildly, with an average just over $3K at three locations.
Adam Leon’s Gimme The Loot took SXSW’s prize for best narrative feature last week. Sundance Selects today announced that it acquired North American and Latin American rights to the film, which centers on two determined teens from the Bronx who are the ultimate graffiti writers. A rival gang, however, buffs their latest masterpiece and they decide to get revenge by tagging an iconic NYC landmark. Arianna Bocco, SVP Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, negotiated the deal with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment. Gimme The Loot is produced by Natalie Difford, Dominic Buchanan, Jamund Washington and stars newcomers Tashiana Washington,Ty Hickson, Meeko, Zoe Lescaze and Sam Soghor.
Related: SXSW Announces Audience Awards
Celebrated Italian director Nanni Moretti (The Son’s Room) divided audiences in Cannes last year with his latest, We Have A Pope (Habemus Papam). Starring French actor Michel Piccoli (Contempt) the feature centers on a cardinal who is elected as the next Pope. Wary of the spotlight and completely caught off guard, he panics as he’s presented to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square and withdraws physically and emotionally. To prevent a worldwide crisis, the Vatican calls in an unlikely psychiatrist who is neither religious or all that committed, played by Moretti, to find out what is wrong with the new pontiff. The film opens April 6th in the U.S.
‘Being Flynn,’ ‘Boy,’ ‘Black Butterflies,’ ‘Last Days Here,’ ‘Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’: Specialty Box Office
This Friday’s specialty releases run the gamut from Being Flynn with stars Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore and Paul Dano, which Focus will begin to roll out over the weekend, to much smaller titles Boy and Black Butterflies with much more limited release plans. Most of this week’s specialty offerings, however, faced long roads to the big screen and fluctuating production budgets. Below are a snapshot of this week’s new limited releases.
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz, Nick Flynn
Cast: Paul Dano, Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore, Olivia Thirlby
Distributor: Focus Features
It’s been a lengthy road for Being Flynn to get to theaters this weekend. The feature starring Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore, Paul Dano and Olivia Thirlby traveled an eight year journey starting out as a Sony project before heading to Fox 2000 and finally landing at Focus Features. Along the way co-writer/director Paul Weitz wrote thirty drafts of the script, evolving along the way. “We were fortunate to have Robert DeNiro from the point we were working with Fox 2000 and he stayed [with the project] after the budget became tighter,” producer Andrew Miano told Deadline, adding that an actor who originally was to play the role of DeNiro’s son in the film had to drop out, which eventually lead to Paul Dano joining the project. “We weren’t forced to do certain casting with an actor who could sell the film in Germany or Africa,” said Miano adding that Focus gave the production leeway on finding Dano. “He’s an actor who has worked opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood and The Ballad Of Jack And Rose and we knew he could do this with DeNiro,” said Miano.
It’s probably not a surprise on the indie front, but finance posed the biggest challenge for three of this weekend’s specialty releases. Despite an Oscar nomination and box office success with his first film, Joshua Marston’s followup The Forgiveness Of Blood managed to turn a resource challenge into a unique story that takes place in an isolated Balkans village. Around June writer-director James Sacova maximized his limited budget through passion, but also discovered having all the necessary permits didn’t guarantee smooth sailing. And Australian production Tomorrow When The War Began had a top-selling book series behind its big-screen ambitions, but getting the cash together was anything but a slam dunk.
Sundance Selects is planning a summer theatrical release for first-time director Alison Klayman’s documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry to correspond with the the famed artist/dissident’s first trip outside China since his detention there. Klayman had unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in the country, and the film trains an eye on contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. The documentary won a Sundance Special Jury Prize and most recently appeared in the Berlinale Special lineup in Berlin. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with John Sloss and Dana O’Keefe of Cinetic Media and Victoria Cook of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz on behalf of the filmmakers and United Expression Media.
UPDATE, SATURDAY AM: IFC’s sister label Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights to Mungiu’s film, which now has a title: Beyond The Hills. The official announcement was made today. The release follows the original exclusive below.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FRIDAY PM: IFC has acquired U.S. rights to Cristian Mungiu’s upcoming untitled film that’s expected to turn up as an official selection in Cannes. The Romanian director’s first feature since 2007′s Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days centers on a young woman’s descent into madness at an Orthodox convent. Wild Bunch, which is co-producing and handling international sales, also concluded deals in Spain, France, Greece, Israel, Mexico and Colombia at the European Film Market. IFC has also acquired Wild Bunch’s Hélène Fillières-directed Tied, which stars Benoît Poelvoorde and Laetitia Casta as a banker and his mistress in a sadomasochistic relationship. That film sold in the UK to Momentum along with several other territories including Switzerland, Russia, Israel, South Korea, Singapore and Turkey.
Errol Morris Sued By Subject Of ‘Tabloid’ For Misrepresentation, Misappropriation, Defamation, Fraud, Emotional Distress
Joyce McKinney, subject of Errol Morris’ documentary Tabloid, has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the filmmaker and other individuals and associated companies such as Moxie Films, Sundance Select and IFC Films. McKinney alleges among other things misappropriation of likeness, defamation, misrepresentation, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. McKinney asserts in the suit that she was approached in 2009 and led to believe that her cooperation in a project for a Showtime series would help clear her name in connection with a long-ago scandal. Instead, she claims, the resulting movie held her up to public ridicule and reinforced a false image of her as having kidnapped a Morman missionary in England in 1977 and holding him against his will and repeatedly raping him. She was arrested and British tabloids and TV had a field day with what became known as the “Manacled Mormon” story. McKinney maintains that she was rescuing her fiance from a cult.
IFC’s Sundance Selects has acquired North American rights to writer-director Julia Loktev’s festival drama The Loneliest Planet, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Hani Furstenberg and Bidzina Gujabidze in the tale of a young couple backpacking in the Caucasus mountains who find their love tested when the threat of violence enters their idyllic journey. Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Marie Therese Guirgis, and Helge Albers produced the movie, which has played at Locarno, Toronto and the New York festivals. This is the second pairing of IFC and Loktev after IFC Films released her Day Night Day Night in 2007.
IFC’s Sundance Selects has landed North American rights to Bess Kargman’s documentary First Position, which offers a glimpse at six aspiring ballet dancers in training for a prestigious competition. The film bowed at last month’s Toronto International Film Festival and was first runner-up for best documentary, and has fest dates in Vancouver and the Hamptons planned. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers for Sundance Selects with Josh Braun at Submarine on behalf of the filmmaker. The film also landed a six-figure pact with Hopscotch for distribution in Australia and New Zealand.