Sundance 2013 Acquisitions: THE WAY WAY BACK, KILL YOUR DARLINGS, TOY’S HOUSE, and CONCUSSION

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A few more high-profile acquisitions at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival have taken place.

  • The Way, Way Back – Fresh off a standing ovation at the film’s premiere, Fox Searchlight has picked up writers/directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s (The Descendants) comedy starring Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell for a summer 2013 release.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Kill Your Darlings – Director John Krokidas’ debut feature about the formative years of the Beat generation is one of my favorites from the festival so far, and Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Classics is closing a deal.  The film features brilliant performances from Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Toy’s House – CBS Films has acquired domestic rights to this offbeat coming-of-age comedy from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, starring Nick Robinson, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, and Megan Mullally.  It’s a decidedly unique film, but definitely worth checking out.
  • Concussion – Radius-TWC has acquired domestic rights to this decidedly sexual drama from writer/director Stacie Passon.  The film stars Robin Weigert.

Hit the jump to read the press releases.

steve-carell-toni-collette-the-way-way-backHere’s the press release for The Way, Way Back:

PARK CITY, UT January 22, 2013 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired rights to North America as well as most major territories to the heartfelt comedy THE WAY, WAY BACK.  Directed and written by Academy Award® winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, THE WAY, WAY BACK stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Amanda Peet and Liam James.

The film was produced by Kevin J. Walsh of The Walsh Company and Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, and executive produced by Sycamore’s Ben Nearn and George Parra, OddLot Entertainment’s Gigi Pritzker, Faxon, and Rash. OddLot Entertainment and Sycamore Pictures co-financed the project.

The film is scheduled to be released in Summer, 2013.

“Nat and Jim have crafted a uproarious coming of age story and it is great to be reunited with them,” said Gilula and Utley.  “The amazingly pitch perfect cast never misses a beat and was well deserving of the standing ovation the film received yesterday.”

“This is a very personal film and it’s been a long journey. We are so overwhelmed by the response it received at Sundance and are beyond delighted that it’s found a home with our family at Fox Searchlight,” said Faxon and Rash

“We are all elated that a vibrant company like Fox Searchlight shares our enthusiasm for the film and faith in Jim and Nat as writers, directors and storytellers,” said Rice and Walsh.

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin).

Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget.

The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache.  Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and WME Global negotiated the deal with Craig Emanuel on behalf of the financiers.

Sierra / Affinity is handling international sales for the project for territories outside those acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures.  It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox.  Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.

 

kill-your-darlings-daniel-radcliffeHere’s the synopsis for Kill Your Darlings:

NEW YORK (January 22, 2013) - Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all US, Australian, New Zealand, South African, African TV, and Eastern European (minus EIF which has already been sold) rights to John Krokidas’ directorial feature debut, KILL YOUR DARLINGS. Co-written by Krokidas and Austin Bunn, KILL YOUR DARLINGS stars Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Cross, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The film is a US Dramatic competition feature at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and premiered to a standing ovation on Friday.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS is produced by Krokidas, Benaroya Pictures’ Michael Benaroya, Christine Vachon of Killer Films and Rose Ganguzza and is executive produced by Benaroya Pictures’ Head of Production Joe Jenckes, Stefan Sonnenfeld, Jared Ian Goldman, Killer Films’ Pamela Koffler, and Randy Manis.

The film is the previously untold story of a murder that brought together a young Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Huston) and William Burroughs (Foster) at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that would lead to their Beat Revolution.

“To be considered amongst the ranks of Pedro Almodóvar and Woody Allen is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Krokidas. “Sony Pictures Classics is truly the perfect place for this film. This is a dream come true.”

Sony Pictures Classics adds, “This is an amazing movie, a great American drama, thriller, and perfect evocation of New York in the 1940′s as you have never seen on screen before. With an ensemble cast that is truly mind-blowing led by Daniel Radcliffe in a profoundly moving performance as Allen Ginsberg, we are witnessing the birth of a major new American filmmaker. Producers Michael Benaroya and Christine Vachon have truly outdone themselves here. It is a privilege to bring a

film that works on so many levels to American audiences.”

KILLING YOUR DARLINGS was negotiated by SPC and UTA’s Rena Ronson along with Cassian Elwes.

toys-houseHere’s the press release for Toy’s House:

PARK CITY – January 23, 2013 – CBS Films announced today it has acquired domestic rights to the coming-of-age comedy TOY’S HOUSE.  Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts from a screenplay by Chris Galletta, the movie premiered to rave reviews on Saturday, January 19th at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

TOY’S HOUSE stars Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Erin Moriarty, Marc Evan Jackson, Thomas Middleditch and Tony Hale.  TOY’S HOUSE follows three teenage boys (Robinson, Basso and Arias) as they head into the wilderness with a plan to build a house and live off the land. The film marks the feature directorial debut of Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Tyler Davidson of Low Spark Films, Peter Saraf of Big Beach and John Hodges are the producers with Richard Rothfeld and Jordan Vogt-Roberts serving as executive producers.

Vogt-Roberts commented, “TOY’S HOUSE couldn’t have found a better home than with CBS Films.  We set out to make a comedy that was hilarious and full of heart – but most importantly we set out to make a comedy that was engaging.  CBS Films is so passionate about this movie and share my thoughts that comedy can be poignant and beautiful.  The response at Sundance has been overwhelming and I can’t wait for CBS Films to share TOY’S HOUSE with audiences everywhere.”

Scott Shooman who negotiated on behalf of CBS Films said, “While comparisons to movies like Stand By Me and The Goonies are inevitable, we found TOY’S HOUSE to be a fresh, funny and heartwarming story that is a loving throwback for a new generation.”

John Sloss of Cinetic Media negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.

concussion-robin-weigertHere’s the press release for Concussion:

Park City – January 21, 2013:  RADiUS – TWC proudly announced tonight that it has acquired North American rights to CONCUSSION, one of the most provocative and well received films at this year’s Festival that is drawing endless comparisons to BELLE DE JOUR.

Written and directed by Stacie Passon in an auspicious directing debut effort, and produced by Rose Troche, CONCUSSION is a poignant sexual examination of Abby (Robin Weigert in a star making breakout turn), a forty something married wealthy, lesbian housewife who, after suffering a blow to the head from getting smacked by her son’s baseball—walks around every corner of her suburban life to confront a mounting desire for something else. She takes on a new project and purchases a pied-à-terre in Manhattan. Walking around the city streets reminds Abby what it feels like to be sexy, and her pent-up libido shakes off its inhibitions. Her newfound desire though is not a take-home item, so Abby inaugerates a double life as a high end escort.  Palpably sensual and deliciously contained,CONCUSSION is a keen observation of the complicated contours of midlife crisis.

According to RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego: “We were mesmorized by CONCUSSION and the job Stacie did in creating such rich, relatable characters. This film made an indelible impression anchored by Robin’s exceptional performance – - one of the best we’ve seen on screen in a very long time.”

Stacie Passon goes on to say: “RADiUS is continuing to define itself as a home for artists. We are thrilled with the passion and dedication of Tom Quinn and Jason Janego and their exceptional team. We know we are in excellent hands.”

RADiUS has slated an early fall 2013 release.

In 2012, CONCUSSION was chosen for the Independent Feature Project’s narrative lab.  Additionally, CONCUSSION received the Adrienne Shelly Director’s Grant and the Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers Live the Dream Grant at the Gotham Awards.

In addition to Reigert (DEADWOOD), CONCUSSION also stars Maggie Siff, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney and Laila Robins.  The executive producers are Anthony Cupo and Cliff Chenfeld. Rose Troche
Is the producer.

Quinn and Janego negotiated the deal with Paradigm’s Ben Weiss and attorney Andre Des Rochers both of whom brokered the deal on behalf of the film.

ABOUT RADiUS-TWC
RADiUS-TWC, the multi-platform label from the Weinstein Company (TWC) is the first studio division dedicated to multi-platform distribution. Utilizing both traditional and digital media, RADiUS-TWC brings the highest quality film and other specialty entertainment to a wider audience than ever before. Led by Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, the label will continue to develop innovative distribution strategies to make marqueecontent available where, when and how consumers want. The label’s inaugural slate includes such acquisitions as BACHELORETTE and ONLY GOD FORGIVES directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas. Other upcoming titles include: ERASED starring Aaron Eckhart, Errol Morris’ THE UNKNOWN KNOWN and Morgan Neville’s TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM.




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