Sundance 2015 Acquisitions: COP CAR, BROOKLYN, TANGERINE, STRANGERLAND, KNOCK KNOCK, and DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

     January 28, 2015

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The Sundance 2015 acquisitions continue:

  • Fox Searchlight made its second big buy today (after teaming up with Indian Paintbrush to secure Me and Earl and The Dying Girl), picking up the John Crowley-directed Brooklyn for $9 million.  The studio plans a 2015 release for the Irish immigration tale starring Saoirse RonanDomhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Julie Waters, and Jim Broadbent.  Scripted by Nick Hornby, and based on the book by Colm Toibin, the film follows a young woman when she uproots from 1950s Ireland and heads to Brooklyn in pursuit of a new life.  Click here to check out Adam’s review.
  • Focus World has picked up the US and UK rights to the Jon Watts-directed Cop Car following its premiere in the midnight section.  The film stars Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays WellfordShea Whigham and Camryn Manheim and follows a pair of blissfully unaware 10 year old boys who take a seemingly-abandoned cop car and try to navigate the back roads, never knowing that the small town cop is gunning to get his car back at any cost.  The studio plans a simultanious theatrical and VOD release.  Click here to check out Matt’s review.
  • tangerine-2Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Tangerine with a plan for traditional nationwide theatrical release later this year.  Written and directed by Sean Baker, and co-written by Chris Bergoch, the film stars trans actresses Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in their screen debuts as two prostitutes searching for a wayward pimp one fateful Christmas Eve in Hollywod.  Tangerine is executive produced by the Duplass brothers.
  • The newly-minted Alchemy (formerly Millenium Entertainment) has landed its first major pickup with all the North American rights to Strangerland, the Kim Farrant-directed drama starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, and Hugo Weaving.  The film follows a couple pushed to the brink when their two teenage children disappear in the remote Australian desert.  The studio plans to release the film sometime this year.
  • knock-knock-image-4Lionsgate closed a deal for Eli Roth‘s sexy thriller Knock Knock, which stars Keanu Reeves as a married family man whose fantasty affair with two beautiful young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) turns nightmarish.  Roth penned the remake of Peter Traynor‘s 1977 exploitation film Death Game, with with Nicholas Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo.
  • Sony Pictures Classics aquired the rights in North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Scandinavia, Germany, and Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) for Marielle Heller‘s adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner‘s acclaimed graphic novel Diary of a Teenage Girl.  Heller’s directorial debut stars Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Meloni, and breakout star Bel Powley.  The film recounts the coming-of-age of a teenage girl in San Francisco’s 1970s counterculture.

Check out the full press releases for Brooklyn, Strangerland, Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Tangerine below:

Brooklyn

brooklynPARK CITY, UT January 28, 2015 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights as well as multiple international territories to the romantic drama BROOKLYN, starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters. The film is directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby, based on Colm Toibin’s acclaimed novel.  The film is produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey and is scheduled to be released in 2015.

“We were overwhelmed by this epic film – the impeccable direction, the flawless attention to detail and Saoirse’s heartbreaking performance of Eilis’ emotional journey.  This film is the kind of classic love story that audiences yearn for and is so often missing from today’s world,” said Utley and Gilula.

“We could not be more thrilled to have Searchlight as the home for Brooklyn. They are as passionate about the film as we, John and Nick are and their pedigree is a perfect fit,” said producers Dwyer and Posey.

BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

Strangerland

strangerland-nicole-kidman-joseph-fiennesLOS ANGELES, January XX, 2015 – The newly minted Alchemy announced today that it has acquired all North American rights to director Kim Farrant’s STRANGERLAND starring Academy Award® winner Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving. The film premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition on Friday night at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it received a strong audience response. The announcement was made today by Alchemy’s CEO Bill Lee. STRANGERLAND will receive a multi-platform release later this year.

“Seeing the film with a full house confirmed our hopes and expectations,” said Lee. “STRANGERLAND is a gorgeously shot, entertaining and thoughtful thriller that features a stellar cast and a particularly riveting turn from Nicole Kidman.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Alchemy whose passion and vision for the film is very exciting,” noted Naomi Wenck and Macdara Kelleher.

Written by Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons and based on a story by Seres, STRANGERLAND is produced by Macdara Kelleher and Naomi Wenck, and executive produced by Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah E. Johnson, Adriana L. Randall, Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten. The film centers on a couple that have recently transplanted to a remote Australian desert town. Their lives are flung into crisis when they discover their two teenage kids have mysteriously disappeared just as a massive dust storm hits.

Alchemy VP of Acquisitions Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. Wild Bunch is handling foreign sales, with Transmission distributing in Australia and New Zealand.

Diary of a Teenage Girl

the-diary-of-a-teenage-girl-imageNEW YORK (January 27, 2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they acquired the rights in  North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe excluding Russia, Asia, Scandinavia and Germany to Marielle Heller’s directorial debut, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL.  The film, based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, premiered on Saturday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it has been one of the most well received films by critics and audiences alike.   K5 International is handling all international territories.

Written by Heller, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL stars Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård, Chrisopher Meloni and breakout phenomenon Bel Powley. The film is produced by Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, and Miranda Bailey and executive produced by Michael Sagol, Amanda Marshall, Jorma Taccone and Amy Nauiokas.

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL recounts the coming-of-age adventures of Minnie Goetze (Powley), a San Francisco teenager growing up in the counterculture haze of the 1970s. Lonely and artistic, Minnie chronicles her trials through expressive drawings and painfully honest missives confided to a tape recorder. One fateful evening alone with her mother’s (Wiig) boyfriend (Skarsgård), Minnie is confronted with her burgeoning sexuality for the first time, and suddenly this precocious teen is in way over her head.

“Discovering major writer/directors like Mari Heller is why we come to Sundance.  There is no richer American movie at Sundance this year. We so look forward to presenting the film to audiences all over the world in a big way,” stated Sony Pictures Classics.

“THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL has been a labor of love. Starting out in the Sundance Labs, premiering at the festival, and now finding a home with Sony Pictures Classics, is a dream come true.  Their love for film and filmmakers and passion for this movie makes me feel confident THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL will reach its audience,” said writer/director Marielle Heller.

The deal was negotiated with UTA Independent Film Group, on behalf of the filmmakers and K5, who represents international.

Tangerine

tangerine-imagePARK CITY, UT (January 27, 2015) – Magnolia Pictures announced today that the company is acquiring worldwide distribution rights to TANGERINE, which has been one of the most talked about films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Magnolia has acquired the film for a traditional theatrical release nationwide later this year. TANGERINE, written and directed by Sean Baker and co-written by Chris Bergoch, premiered in the NEXT section at Sundance on Friday and has received universally positive reviews.

TANGERINE stars trans actresses Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, making their big-screen debuts as two working girls in search of a wayward pimp on a fateful Christmas Eve in Hollywood.  Frequent Baker thespians James Ransone and Karren Karagulian also star. TANGERINE was exeuctive produced by the Duplass Brothers and produced by Through Films and Baker’s longtime collaborators Darren Dean and Shih-Ching Tsou. The film was lensed by Radium Cheung.

This is the second Sundance acquisition for Magnolia; the company also acquired Andrew Bujalski’s RESULTS, starring Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders.

About the acquisition, Baker says, “The TANGERINE team is overjoyed to find a home at Magnolia Pictures and are humbled to be a part of their roster of prestigious, bold and forward-thinking films. I’m personally thrilled that Magnolia recognizes the theatrical potential of TANGERINE. Audiences will have the chance to see it on the big screen, the way it was intended to be experienced.”

Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles says of TANGERINE, “It’s got as many laugh-out-loud moments as any film I’ve seen in years, along with heart and empathy. Sean Baker is an incredibly talented filmmaker, and the ensemble cast is a revelation.”

Jay & Mark Duplass note, “Starting with HUMPDAY, Magnolia has proven to us over and over again that genre and marquee names don’t mean everything in indie film, and that they will passionately get behind a wild movie like Sean Baker’s TANGERINE simply because it is unique, inspired, and flat out entertaining.”

Through Films’ Karrie and Marcus Cox add that “TANGERINE is a bold and energetic film and Magnolia’s creativity and passion for cinema make them the perfect partner. This is such a special film for us and we are confident they will take great care of it as it finds its way into the world.”

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Director of Acquisitions John Von Thaden with Jessica Lacy at ICM Partners and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

Magnolia Pictures will release the film later this year.

Which of the new Sundance acquisitions are you most excited to see?

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