The Sundance Film Festival is well underway, yet only a few of the over 80 films that were available at the festival have found homes. Yet there is still interest in many of the most popular sales titles and others that have failed.
Here's the most recent summary of all the Sundance deals we've tracked.
Midnight Distributor: A24 Title: "Talk to Me" Section
A24 did not have enough films to fill the Sundance slot this year, according to an individual with knowledge. "Talk to Me," a film by Danny and Michael Philippou, better known as Australian YouTubers RackaRacka, has just been released. It is about a new party trend among teenagers that involves performing séances with the dead. Yet as one youngster who recently lost her mother performs her own séance that goes wrong, the boundaries between the living and the dead begin to narrow down.
Variety reports that A24 purchased the film in a high seven-figure settlement, and it is expected to have a theatrical release sometime this summer.
The transaction was concluded by WME and Bank-Side Films.
Sony Pictures Classics Releases Title: "A Little Prayer" Section
Sony Pictures Classics purchased "A Little Prayer," the latest film from "Junebug," according to IndieWire. Jane Levy, David Strathairn, Will Pullen, Anna Camp, and Celia Weston play in this family drama set in a small town in North Carolina, that explores the relationship between a father (Strathairn) and his daughter in-law (Pullen) as he discovers his son is having an affair.
Within 24 hours of its release at The Ray Theatre on Monday, SPC picked up "A Little Prayer" from the Premieres section of the festival. The distributor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The sale was handled by WME Independent.
Premieres Distributor: MUBI in Title: "Passages" Section
MUBI, an art house streaming company, has purchased the rights to Ira Sachs' "Passages," a dramatic film about a filmmaker (Fritz Rogowski) who cheats on his husband (Whishaw) with a woman, only to grow jealous once his husband pursues his own new relationship.
MUBI will release "Passages" later this year, following an international premiere in the Berlin Film Festival's Panorama section next month.
Sachs' sixth feature and one of many to premiere at Sundance is "Passages." Both are producers, and IndieWire praised the film as "raw and resonant."
Sachs is represented by WME and Fusion Entertainment.
Premiere Distributor: Apple TV+ in Title: "Flora and Son" Section
Apple acquired worldwide rights to John Carney's musical romance and comedy "Flora and Son" from Sundance on January 24 in a deal that an individual with knowledge claims to be in the high eight figures, with some reports claiming it to be as high as $20 million.
"Flora and Son" is about a mother in Ireland who bonds more deeply with her troubled son (Orén Kinlan) due to their shared guitar interests. She receives guitar lessons from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is half a world away.
In "Flora and Son," a worldwide box office triumph in 2007 won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly." Since then, filmmaker John Carney has carved out a unique path as a storyteller of small character studies, often with a musical flavor.
Apple made a splash in 2021 by buying "CODA" as a Sundance audience and jury award winner, which paid out with a Best Picture award. Last year, it acquired "Cha Cha Real Smooth," the next Audience Award winner.
The sale was co-sponsored by WME, Fifth Season, and Film Nation.
Sundance Institute's Courtesy
Section: "Theater Camp": Searchlight, a US dramatist, has been named.
Searchlight purchased "Theater Camp" on January 23, according to a source, and the film features Ben Platt, Jimmy Tatro, Noah Galvin, Patti Harrison, and Gordon herself. The film is a love letter to drama teachers and the ability to evolve into the delightfully bizarre quite quickly.
"Waiting for Guffman," as well as the parody-covers collection "Forbidden Broadway," were considered influences on Gordon and Lieberman's film, which is a mockumentary.
Searchlight, which will distribute the film on DVD and will announce its release dates at a later date, is clearly hoping for another mainstream crossover comedy success, in the vein of "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Little Miss Sunshine," which the studio steered to huge success when it was still Fox Searchlight.
The transaction was ultimately broken down by WME Independent.
Netflix's "Fair Play" Section is distributed by the United States.
Netflix is close to acquiring global rights to "Fair Play," according to IndieWire, which has learned that the film is worth $20 million. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor, as well as Eddie Masran and Rich Sommer, who worked for a brutal and cruel hedge fund.
According to reports, as many as seven distributors have submitted proposals for the rights to "Fair Play," including Searchlight and Neon. MRC is the studio responsible for the film and the sales.
Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman from T-Street have served as executive producers for "Fair Play," the first film in a partnership between T-Street and MRC that supports emerging talent. Domont has directed episodes of "Billions," "Suits," and "Ballers."
Magnolia Distributor: Title: "Kokomo City" Section
Magnolia has been active, as following the theatrical release of "Little Richard: I Am Everything" earlier in the festival, the indie distributor entered a one-night deal to purchase worldwide rights to "Kokomo City," the Grammy-nominated producer and singer's directorial debut.
Smith, a trans performer famous for "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta," directed, produced, and edited this documentary, which was shot in all black and white, and is available in the NEXT segment, about four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City who strive to break down the walls of their profession.
Magnolia will release it later this year following a screening at Berlin Panorama. CAA Media Finance handled the transaction with Magnolia.
"Little Richard: I Am Everything," says the author.
Sundance Institute's Courtesy
Section: Magnolia/CNN Films: "Little Richard: I Am Everything"
Magnolia has purchased worldwide theatrical rights to distribute "Little Richard: I Am Everything," which will be available in domestic theaters this April. The film will also be repped internationally at EFM later this year. The film will continue to air on CNN later this year.
Lisa Cortés ("Precious") directs this documentary about Rock Legend Little Richard, but considers his legacy in terms of Blackness and queerness, as well as his own personal identity as it relates to his faith and Christianity. It was produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max in collaboration with Rolling Stone Films.
"I Am Everything" is a Day One documentary at Sundance, but it's also one of six of CNN's last long-form films to be commandeered by outside producers and filmmakers.
Netflix's Midnight Distributor: "Run Rabbit Run" Section
Sarah Snook, star of "The Shining Girls" and "The Handmaid's Tale," is set in Melbourne, Australia, and other countries. The screenplay was written by Hannah Kent ("The Good People," "Devotion."
On Thursday, Netflix purchased worldwide rights to "Run Rabbit Run," which will be released later in 2023.
Amazon Prime Video: "In My Mother's Skin" Section
"In My Mother's Skin," the only Filipino film to be announced in the Midnight section of Sundance, is the second feature from director Kenneth Dagatan, who directed 2018's "Ma." The film is based in 1945 in the Philippines, with performances by Beauty Gonzalez, Felicity Kyle Napuli, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, James Mavie Estrella, and Angeli Bayani.
"This is a unique opportunity for Filipino filmmakers to be seen by the international audience, and I hope this opens the way for more Filipino entertainment to be enjoyed by the rest of the world," Dagatan said in part in an official statement.
Amazon Prime Video has acquired global rights to the title and plans to release "In My Mother's Skin" by the end of 2023.
Children of "Other People"
George Lechaptois/Les Films Velvet's Courtesy
Spotlight Distributor: Music Box Films Title: "Other People's Children" Section
Rebecca Zlotowski's family drama "Other People's Children," which premiered in competition at Venice, will have its U.S. premiere at Sundance on January 20. The film, which features Virginie Efira, Roschdy Zem, and Chiara Mastroianni, has been dubbed "delightfully French."
'Other People's Children' is set to be released this spring in theaters and on home entertainment platforms by Music Box Films.
Section: Spotlight Distributor: Utopia: "Squaring the Circle"
Anton Corbijn ("Control," "The American") returns to his roots in rock music by telling the stories of some of the most famous album cover art ever, all of it originating from Hipgnosis, a digital art studio based in the United States. In a film that should be a nod to classic rock music, Corbijn interviews artists like Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, and Jimmy Page.
"Squaring the Circle" had its first premiere at Telluride 2022 and will be played in the Spotlight section of the festival. Utopia, which acquired the film on January 6, is planning a summer release.
Spotlight Distributor: Oscilloscope in Title: "Joyland" Section
"Joyland" is a story about a young guy who becomes a backup dancer in a Bollywood-style burlesque show, only to fall in love with a trans woman who plays the show.
"Joyland" was acquired by Oscilloscope on January 6 and will be released on DVD later this year.
Paramount Distributor: Midnight Distributor: Title: "My Animal" Section
"My Animal" is a horror film and romance starring Bobbi Salvör Menuez ("Under the Silver Lake") and Amandla Stenberg ("The Hate U Give") as two young adults in a small town who fall for one other only for one girl's growing desires to gradually clash with her darker animal instincts within (translation: she's a werewolf).
Before the festival, Paramount Worldwide Acquisition Group purchased the worldwide rights to "My Animal," although whether or not the film will be theatrical, distributed via Paramount+, or another channel remains to be seen.
Netflix Has Released a Title: "The Deepest Breath" Section
Laura McGann is the filmmaker who directs this documentary about a world-class freediver training to dive a new world record with the assistance of an expert safety diver. The film investigates not just the hidden depths of the ocean, but the emotional bond formed between the two divers.
"The Tinder Swindler" was created by Netflix along with A24, Motive Films, Ventureland, and RAW. The latter of which was responsible for the documentary film "The Tinder Swindler."
Jon Pack is a professional golfer.
Premiere Distributor: A24 for "Past Lives" Section
Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, and John Magar0 star in this South Korean romance, which is the first feature from playwright Celine Song ("Endlings") after three generations of dating and missed connections. A24 will release the film after its Sundance premiere.
The Title: "Earth Mama" Section: A24 is the first distributor of the program.
"Earth Mama," a pregnant single mother with two children in foster care, follows her as she fights to reclaim her family in her Bay Area community, after winning an award for her documentary short "The Heart Still Hums" and even a Grammy nomination for directing Gary Clark Jr.'s "This Land."
The title is "Stephen Curry: Underrated," and the company has chosen to distribute it for the first time. Apple TV+ is the official distributor for the company.
"Underrated" is a documentary on Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry that explores how Curry progressed from being a low-rated, undersized college student at a Division I school to becoming a 4-time NBA champion. Through its partnership with A24, Ryan Coogler produces and directs this film, which will launch on Apple TV+ later this year.
The title: Midnight Distributor: Neon and Topic: "Infinity Pool"
Brandon Cronenberg, the son of David Cronenberg, is returning to Sundance with his follow-up to "Possessor." Early buzz suggests that he delivers. This Midnight title stars Alexander Skarsgard and Mia Goth and follows a couple on an all-inclusive vacation that uncovers a perverse subculture of surreal horrors and hedonistic tourism after a fatal accident.
Neon and Topic entered the festival with the rights to "Infinity Pool," and immediately released a disturbing and bizarre trailer, which will now begin cinemas January 27.
Section: "Still: A Michael J. Fox Story": Apple TV+'s Distributor
Davis Guggenheim's first documentary feature in seven years follows "Back to the Future" icon Michael J. Fox in a film that chronicles this Canadian kid's meteoric rise to stardom and how his life was radically altered when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the age of 29. The film's narration is described as a playful and humorous account of an "eternal optimist" dealing with the unthinkable.
Apple TV+ is releasing 'Still,' and acquired the rights to it back in April.
Premieres Distributor: MGM for "Landscape with Invisible Hand" Section
Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds, "Bad Education") returns to Sundance with a darkly comedic science fiction and coming-of-age story about two young men who must livestream their courtship to curious alien invaders in order to survive after advanced alien technology has rendered all but the richest humans obsolete.
United Artists Releasing, a subsidiary of MGM, is distributing the film backed by Annapurna and Brad Pitt's Plan B, which also includes Tiffany Haddish, Michael Gandolfini, William Jackson Harper, and Clifton Collins Jr.
"You Hurt My Feelings"
Sundance Institute/A24 provides a photo credit.
Premieres Distributor: A24 Title: "You Hurt My Feelings" Section
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her director Nicole Holofcener reprise their roles in this funny drama about a well-known New York writer who is shocked and surprised when she discovers that her husband of decades has disapproved of her latest novel. The film is distributed by A24.
Title: "Cassandro" Section: Premieres Distributor: Amazon Prime Video
Gael Garca Bernal plays a gay luchador who is tired of losing and tired of hiding behind a mask during his wrestling matches and manages to break barriers within the lucha libre circuit by developing an eccentric "exótico" character that takes the crowds by storm. The film will be available on Amazon Prime Video.
Title: "Judy Blume Forever" Section: Premieres Distributor: Amazon Prime Video
Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok (“Very Semi-Serious”) direct this documentary on Judy Blume, one of literature's most influential children's authors. It also shows fans who write sincere letters to the author over the years.
The film created by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Documentaries is being released on Amazon Prime Video.
"L'immensita" Section: Spotlight Distributor: Music Box Films
Penélope Cruz plays a mother who develops a stronger connection with her teen child, who is just beginning to understand their transgender identity in a '70s period drama set in Rome. Early reviews have praised Cruz's performance and the soundtrack to Italian pop music.
"L'immensita" is coming to the United States, while Warner Bros. Italy has the Italian distribution rights. It was shown for the first time during the Venice Film Festival.
Focus Features: A Thousand and One Section of a Dramatic Distributor in the United States
“A Thousand and One” is a feature debut from a Sundance Lab alumnus A.V. Rockwell, who is bouncing around in New York's 1990s, where she kidnaps her 6-year-old boy and attempts to rebuild a new life. The film is anticipated to feature a star-making turn from musician and singer Teyana Taylor.
Focus Features has already set a theatrical release date for the film for the 31st of March 2023.
"Rye Lane" is a name for a street in the United States.
Premieres Distributor: Searchlight Pictures: "Rye Lane" Section
"Rye Lane" is a short film directed by Raine Allen-Miller and is a romantic comedy about two 20-somethings who meet up and savor the city of London after they have each faced difficulties recently. The film is being released by Searchlight Pictures.
Section: "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt" Distributor for Dramatic Arts in the United States: A24
Raven Jackson's feature directorial debut is "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt." The film follows a Mississippi black woman's growth, loves, and hardships from her childhood to adulthood.
A24 is bringing two films to Sundance, but this one has the backing of Barry Jenkins and his Pastel banner.
Section: Kids Distributor: Sky Cinema: Title: "The Amazing Maurice"
The Amazing Maurice is based on a book with the same name and follows a street-savvy cat who along with a group of rats devise a profit-making scheme.
Emilia Jones, Hugh Laurie, Himesh Patel, and Gemma Arterton form the voice cast, according to Toby Genkel. The Sky Original will be released on February 3rd in cinemas.
Title: "The Eight Mountains" Section: Spotlight Distributor: Sideshow Releasing and Janus Films
This dramatic play, based on a novel about a youngster from the city visiting a mountain village, is directed by Felix van Groeningen ("Beautiful Boy").
After winning the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Sideshow Releasing and Janus Films purchased "The Eight Mountains."
Brooke Shields' "Pretty Baby" Section: ABC News on Hulu's premier distributer
Brooke Shields, named for her breakout role when she was just 12, has been described as a moving and critical documentary about a teen model and icon. Lana Wilson, who most recently got some intimate information from Taylor Swift for her documentary "Miss Americana," directs the film.
ABC News will air the two-part documentary on Hulu.
"20 Days in Mariupol": Frontline/PBS World Cinema Documentary Distributor
Mstyslav Chernov, a Ukrainian filmmaker and AP News video journalist who was one of the first international journalists to flee the country in a timely news documentary about the Russian invasion in Ukraine, was up close and personal during the early days of the attacks on the city of Mariupol. Some of Chernov's footage should already be familiar around the world and in some cases has directly refuted Russian lies.
"20 Days in Mariupol" is part of a larger editorial collaboration between Frontline and AP, and the film will be released by PBS Distribution following its Sundance premiere.
Midnight Distributor: Shudder: Title: "birth/rebirth" Section
"birth/rebirth," a new interpretation of the classic Frankenstein story, is about a single mother and a mortician who form a bond after they recover a 6-year-old girl from the dead in a breakout role.
"birth/rebirth" is a Shudder original film that just started production in September this year, and it will be released in North America in 2023.
Title: "Murder in Big Horn" Section: Showtime Premieres Distributor
Sundance will air all three episodes of this Showtime documentary examining the disappearance of an Indigenous woman or girl from a reservation in Montana's Big Horn region. Each episode is told from the perspective of the Native families and journalists involved in the case, who are still grieving.
The term "poliite society" is used interchangeably.
Focus Features: Midnight Distributor: "Polite Society" Section
"Polite Society," a different kind of Midnight film, is a hybrid of comedy, horror, and martial arts film that also serves as the feature film's debut by "We Are Lady Parts" creator Nida Manzoor. The film follows an Indian girl who plots a huge heist in order to save her older sister from her upcoming marriage.
"Polite Society" will be released in theaters on April 28, 2023.
Netflix's "Victim/Suspect" Section is distributed in the United States.
Nancy Schwartzman directs a documentary on a journalist investigating a slew of instances of women reporting sexual assault to the cops, who are then accused of fabricating their stories and charged with crimes of their own.
The Center for Investigative Reporting collaborated on the feature.
HBO Documentary Distributor in the United States: "The Stroll" Section
"The Stroll" takes viewers back to New York in the 1990s and tells the story of the Meatpacking District, specifically from the perspective of transgender sex workers. She was on the streets in that time herself, and is a long-time trans activist who has able to impart an intimate, personal touch to the film.
After its Sundance premiere, HBO Documentaries will broadcast it both on HBO and on HBO Max.
Christian Blauvelt provides further reports.