Although the Sundance Film Festival is well underway, only a few of the over 80 films that were available at the festival have found their homes. Yet there is still interest in many of the most popular sales titles and others that have broken out.
Here's the latest of all the Sundance deals we're following.
"Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV," according to a documentarian distributed in the United States by Greenwich Entertainment/PBS Films.
Greenwich Entertainment acquired all rights (excluding TV) to 'Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV,' a documentary that was judged and produced by Amanda Kim and performed in a documentary competition in the United States.
Nam June Paik, well-known as the "George Washington of Video Art," is well-known as the creator of the phrase "Electronic Superhighway" in modern history, and is well-known for his Nostradamus-like visions of a future in which "everybody will have his own TV channel."
Films We Like has acquired Canadian rights and will distribute the film theatrically simultaneously with Greenwich. A Korean distribution agreement and streaming service will be announced shortly.
David Koh of Curatorial, on behalf of the filmmaker and producers, along with Ed Arentz, Co-President of Greenwich Entertainment, Michael Kantor of American Masters Pictures, and Ron Mann of Films We Like, signed the agreements.
MTV Documentary Films Section: "The Eternal Memory" Section: World Cinema Documentary Distributor:
MTV Documentary Films acquired worldwide rights to "The Eternal Memory," directed by Maite Alberdi, on Friday, January 27. The film is on its way to a theatrical release, along with a "robust awards campaign" to hopefully land Alberdi another Oscar nomination.
"The Eternal Memory" is a tale about a couple that's been together for 25 years, eight of which have involved the husband's being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Augusto, the man suffering from Alzheimer's, is also one of Chile's most well-known cultural commentators and television producers known for covering the Pinochet regime.
Maite Alberdi, Juan De Dios Larran, and Roco Jadue direct the film. Marcela Santibaez, Daniela Sandoval, Nicholas Hooper, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Chandra Jessee and Rebecca Lichtenfeld co-create the film.
"The Eternal Memory" is a Micromundo and Fabula production. Submarine and United Talent Agency Independent Film Group agreed to the deal with MTV Documentary Films on behalf of the filmmakers. UTA also represents Maite Alberdi.
Midnight Distributor: A24: Title: "Talk to Me" Section
A24 didn't have enough films to entertain Sundance attendees 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 premiered in the Midnight section at Sundance, and is about a new party trend among teenagers that involves performing séances with the dead. But as one youngster who recently lost her mother performs her own séance that goes wrong, the boundaries between the living and the dead slowly
Variety reports that A24 purchased the film in a high seven-figure contract, and it is anticipated to have a theatrical release sometime this summer.
The transaction was handled by Bankside Films.
Premieres Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics purchased "A Little Prayer," the latest film from "Junebug" scribe Angus MacLachlan, according to IndieWire. Jane Levy, David Strathairn, Anna Camp, and Celia Weston star in this family drama set in a small town in North Carolina, which explores the bond a father (Strathairn) and his daughter in-law (Pullen) has with his son.
'A Little Prayer' was picked up by SPC within 24 hours of its opening at The Ray Theatre on Monday. The film was officially licensed on January 27 at the United Nations. No release dates were announced.
The sale was handled by WME Independent.
Premieres Distributor: MUBI in Title: "Passages" Section
MUBI, a leading art house distributor and production company, has acquired the rights to Ira Sachs' "Passages," a documentary about a filmmaker who cheats on his husband (Whishaw) with a woman, only to become enraged with jealousy when his husband pursues his own new relationship on January 24.
MUBI will release "Passages" on theatrical later this year following an international premiere in the Berlin Film Festival's Panorama section next month.
Sachs' eighth feature, not to mention his sixth feature to debut at Sundance, is produced by Sad Ben Sad ("Elle," "Bacarau," and Michel Merkt ("Toni Erdmann"), and IndieWire described the film as "raw and resonant."
Sachs is represented by WME and Fusion Entertainment.
Title: Apple TV+'s "Flora and Son" Section: Premieres Distributor
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 saying it is as high as $20 million.
"Flora and Son" is about a Irish mother (Eve Hewson) who grows closer to her troubled son (Orén Kinlan) through their shared guitar passion. She receives guitar lessons from a professional instructor based in Ireland who is half a world away.
"Once" was a worldwide box office success in 2007 and 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, in "Flora and Son."
Apple made a splash in 2021 when it bought "CODA" as a Sundance audience and jury prize winner, which paid out with a Best Picture award. Last year, it purchased "Cha Cha Real Smooth," the next Audience Award winner.
The sale was co-repped by WME, Fifth Season, and Film Nation.
Sundance Institute's Courtesy
Searchlight, a US Dramatic Distributor, Has Titled: "Theater Camp" Section
According to a source, Searchlight purchased "Theater Camp" on January 23, and the film stars Ben Platt, Jimmy Tatro, Noah Galvin, Patti Harrison, and Gordon herself. The film is a love letter to drama teachers and the ability to wander toward the bizarre quite swiftly.
"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 release the film theatrically and 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 both achieved major successes when it was still Fox Searchlight.
The transaction was brokered by WME Independent.
Netflix's "Fair Play" Section is distributed by the United States.
Netflix is on the verge of acquiring global rights to "Fair Play," according to IndieWire, and which IndieWire has learned is in the region of $20 million. It stars Alden Ehrenreich and "Bridgerton" actress Phoebe Dynevor, as well as Eddie Masran and Rich Sommer, who both worked for a brutal and powerful hedge fund.
There are as many as seven distributors who have bid on the rights to "Fair Play," including Searchlight and Neon. MRC is the studio that created the film and also handled the sales.
Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman from T-Street are the executive producers of "Fair Play," the first 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 fest, the indie distributor initiated an all-night negotiations to acquire worldwide rights to "Kokomo City," the director's debut for Grammy-nominated producer and singer D. Smith.
Smith, a trans performer known for "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta," directed, wrote, and edited this documentary shot in all black and white, which is now playing in the NEXT section about four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City who are fighting to remove the walls of their profession.
Magnolia will release it later this year following a screening at Berlin Panorama. CAA Media Finance helped broker the agreement with Magnolia.
"Little Richard, I Am Everything."
Sundance Institute's Courtesy
“Little Richard: I Am Everything” Section: Magnolia/CNN Films as a Documentary Distributor in the United States
Magnolia has acquired worldwide theatrical rights to distribute "Little Richard: I Am Everything," which will be released in domestic theaters this April. The film will also be repped by EFM later this year. The program will continue to air on CNN later this year.
This documentary on Little Richard, directed by Lisa Cortés ("Precious"), explores 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 association with Rolling Stone Films.
"I Am Everything" is a Day One film at Sundance, but it's also one of six of CNN's last long-form films that were made by outside producers and filmmakers.
Netflix's Midnight Distributor: "Run Rabbit Run"
Sarah Snook, who plays a fertility doctor known for "The Shining Girls" and "The Handmaid's Tale," has written the screenplay.
"Run Rabbit Run" will be released later in 2023 by XYZ Films, which co-financed the film, handled international sales, and brokered the transaction.
Amazon Prime Video: "In My Mother's Skin" Section: Midnight Distributor
"In My Mother's Skin," the only Filipino film to be included in the Midnight section at Sundance, is the second feature from filmmaker Kenneth Dagatan, who directed 2018's "Ma." The film stars Beauty Gonzalez, Felicity Kyle Napuli, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, James Mavie Estrella, and Angeli Bayani.
"This is a truly international opportunity for Filipino filmmakers to be recognized," Dagatan said in part in an official statement.
Amazon Prime Video has acquired worldwide rights to the title and plans to release "In My Mother's Skin" before the end of 2023.
"Other People's Children"
George Lechaptois/Les Films Velvet
Section: "Other People's Children": Spotlight Distributor: Music Box Films
Rebecca Zlotowski's family drama "Other People's Children," which premiered at Venice in competition, will have its U.S. premiere at Sundance on January 20. Efira, Roschdy Zem, and Chiara Mastroianni were praised by IndieWire out of Venice for her performance.
The film "Other People's Children" will be released this spring in cinemas and home entertainment platforms.
Section: Spotlight Distributor: Utopia: "Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis)"
Anton Corbijn ("Control," "The American") returns to his roots in rock music history by recounting some of the most famous album cover art ever, all of which was created by Hipgnosis art studios. In a film that should be a hit for classic rock artists, Corbijn interviews musicians such as Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, and Jimmy Page.
"Squaring the Circle" got its premiere at Telluride 2022, and will be featured in the festival's Spotlight section. Utopia, which acquired the film on January 6, is planning a summer release.
Spotlight Distributor: Oscilloscope in Title: "Joyland" Section
Malala Yousafzai and Ramin Bahrani both executive produce this film, which was the first Pakistani film to premiere at Cannes. "Joyland" is the story of a young man who becomes a backup dancer in a Bollywood burlesque performance, only to fall in love with a trans woman who plays the show.
Oscilloscope acquired "Joyland" on January 6 and plans to release it theatrically later this year.
Title: Midnight Distributor: Paramount
Bobbi Salvör Menuez (“Under the Silver Lake”) and Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”) play two youngsters in a small town who fall for each other only for one girl's growing desires to slowly conflict with her darker animal instincts within (translation: she's a werewolf). The script was written by Jae Matthews (“The Runner”).
The Paramount Worldwide Acquisition Group has purchased worldwide rights to "My Animal" ahead of the festival, though whether or not the film will be theatrical, distributed through Paramount+, or another channel remains to be seen.
Netflix Releases Title: "The Deepest Breath" Section
Laura McGann, an Irish filmmaker, directs this documentary about a world record freediver who is preparing to break a world record with the help of an expert safety diver. The film explores not just the silent depths of the ocean, but the emotional bonds formed between the two divers.
"The Deepest Breath," a documentary on Netflix, was collaborating with A24, along with Motive Films, Ventureland, and RAW, the latter of which was responsible for "The Tinder Swindler."
Jon Pack is a professional basketball player.
Premieres Distributor: A24 in Title: "Past Lives" Section
Celine Song's debut feature (Endlings) spans three generations of bonding and missed connections, and A24 will release the film following its Sundance premiere.
Title: A24's "Earth Mama" Section: Premieres Distributor
"Earth Mama," another A24 film featuring a pregnant single mother with two foster children, follows a pregnant single mother who embraces her Bay Area community as she fights to reclaim her family. She received a Grammy nomination for "This Land" for her documentary short "The Heart Still Hums."
"Stephen Curry: Underrated" Section: Premieres Distributor: Apple TV+
"Underrated" is a documentary on Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry that chronicles his journey from being a low-rated, under-sized college student at a Division I school to becoming a 4-time NBA champion. Through its partnership with A24, Ryan Coogler will produce and direct this film that will launch later this year on Apple TV+.
Section: Midnight Distributor: Neon and Topic: "Infinity Pool"
Brandon Cronenberg, the son of David Cronenberg, returns to Sundance with his sequel to "Possessor." Early buzz suggests that he delivers. This Midnight title follows Alexander Skarsgard and Mia Goth on an all-inclusive vacation that uncovers a strange subculture of surreal horrors and hedonistic tourism following a fatal accident.
Neon and Topic obtained the rights to 'Infinity Pool' at the festival, and immediately released a bizarre and bizarre trailer, which will now be released on January 27.
Section: "Still: A Michael J. Fox Story": Premieres Distributor: Apple TV+
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 fame and how his life was radically shaped as a result of his Parkinson's diagnosis at the age of 29.
Apple TV+ is making "Still," and purchased the rights to it in April.
Premieres Distributor: MGM in Title: "Landscape with Invisible Hand" Section
Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds, Bad Education) returns to Sundance with a darkly comic comedic science fiction and coming-of-age story about two teenagers who have to livestream their courtship to curious alien invaders in order to survive. After advanced alien technology has rendered all but the wealthy most humans obsolete, this movie has a darkly comic feel to it.
United Artists Releasing of MGM is producing a film featuring Annapurna and Brad Pitt's Plan B, which also stars Tiffany Haddish, Michael Gandolfini, William Jackson Harper, and Clifton Collins Jr.
"You Hurt My Feelings," says the author.
Sundance Institute/A24 provides courtesy images.
Premiere Distributor: A24: "You Hurt My Feelings" Section
Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns with her "Enough Said" directorial team for this dramedy about a well-known New York author who is shocked and enraged when she learns that her husband of decades does not like her latest novel. The film is distributed by A24.
Title: "Cassandro" Section: Premieres Distributor: Amazon Prime Video
Gael Garca Bernal plays a gay luchador tired of losing and tired of hiding behind a mask during his wrestling matches, who manages to break barriers within the lucha libre circuit by developing an eccentric "exótico" character that takes the crowds by surprise. The film is available now on Amazon Prime Video.
Premieres Distributor: Amazon Prime Video Title: "Judy Blume Forever"
Judy Blume, one of literature's most influential children's authors, is co-directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok (“Very Semi-Serious”), who are also featured. In addition to profiling the author, the documentary depicts viewers who have shared heartfelt letters with the author over the years.
The Imagine Documentaries produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Section: Spotlight Distributor: Music Box Films, Title: "L'immensita"
Penélope Cruz plays a mother who develops a stronger connection with her teenage child who is just beginning to comprehend their transgender identity in this '70s period drama set in Rome, and earlier reviews have praised Cruz's performance and the soundtrack for Italian pop music.
"L'immensita" is coming to Sony Music Box Films in the United States, while Warner Bros. Italy has the Italian distribution rights. It first premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Focus Features: U.S. Dramatic Distributor: "A Thousand and One"
"A Thousand and One," a Sundance Lab alumnus, has been anticipating for many years. The story follows a mother bouncing around from shelter to shelter in New York's 1990s who kidnaps her 6-year-old child and attempts to start a new life together. Singer and musician Teyana Taylor is expected to take a lead role in the film.
Focus Features has already set a theatrical release date for the film for the 31st of March 2023.
"Rye Lane" is a fictional location.
Premieres Distributor: Searchlight Pictures for "Rye Lane" Section
"Rye Lane" is a sub-the-radar feature film by Raine Allen-Miller, which is a rom-com about two 20-somethings who meet up and dine around London after they each have faced some difficult recent break-ups. Searchlight Pictures is the company that is releasing.
Section: "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt": A24, a US drama distributor
Raven Jackson's feature film "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt" explores a black woman's growth, loves, and her heartbreaks in Mississippi from her childhood to adulthood.
A24 is bringing one of two films to Sundance, but this one has the backing of Barry Jenkins and his Pastel banner.
"The Amazing Maurice" Section: Kids Distributor: Sky Cinema/Viva Kids
"The Amazing Maurice" is a musical adaptation of a book with the same name, followed by a street-savvy cat that develops a moneymaking scheme with a group of rats.
Emilia Jones, Hugh Laurie, Himesh Patel, and Gemma Arterton play the voices for The Sky Original, which will be released on February 3 in the United States via distributor Viva Kids.
Spotlight Distributor: Sideshow Releasing and Janus Films, Title: "The Eight Mountains"
This action, directed by Felix van Groeningen (“Beautiful Boy”) and Charlotte Vandermeersch, both Sundance alums, is set in Italy and is inspired by a novel about a youngster from the city visiting a small mountain village during the summer.
After winning the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Sideshow Releasing and Janus Films acquired "The Eight Mountains."
Brooke Shields' "Pretty Baby" Section: ABC News on Hulu's Premieres Distributor
Brooke Shields, named for her breakout role when she was just 12, has been described as a fascinating and moving documentary about a teen model and icon. Lana Wilson, who most recently obtained some personal 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" Section: Frontline/PBS World Cinema Documentary Distributor
Mstyslav Chernov, a Ukrainian filmmaker and AP News video journalist who fled the country in a timely news documentary on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was up close and personal during the early days of the attacks on the city of Mariupol as one of the few international journalists to leave the country.
'20 Days in Mariupol' is part of a larger editorial collaboration between Frontline and AP, and the film will be distributed by PBS Distribution following its Sundance premiere.
Midnight Distributor: Shudder's Title: "birth/rebirth" Section
"birth/rebirth," a new take on the old Frankenstein tale, is about a single mother and a doctor 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 only began production in September of this year, and it will be released in North America in 2023.
Premieres Distributor for "Murder in Big Horn": Showtime
Sundance will present all three episodes of this Showtime documentary in which each episode examines 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 who are still grieving. Razelle Benally and Matthew Galkin direct the series.
The term "poliite society" is used interchangeably.
Title: Midnight Distributor: Focus Features in the "Polite Society" Section
"Polite Society," a different kind of Midnight film, is a hybrid of comedy, horror, and martial arts film that is also the feature directorial debut of "We Are Lady Parts" author Nida Manzoor. The story follows an Indian girl who performs an elaborate heist in order to save her older sister from her upcoming marriage.
Focus Features will release "Polite Society" in theaters on April 28, 2023.
Netflix's "Victim/Suspect" section is distributed in the United States.
Nancy Schwartzman directs a documentary about a journalist who is investigating a number of instances of women reporting sexual assault to police who are then accused of fabricating their stories and charged with crimes of their own.
The Center for Investigative Reporting and Netflix have collaborated on this program.
HBO Documentary Distributor of "The Stroll" Section in the United States
"The Stroll" takes viewers back to New York in the 1990s and chronicles the Meatpacking District's history, particularly from the perspective of transgender sex workers. Kristen Lovell, a long-time trans activist, is able to add an intimate, personal touch to the film.
Following the Sundance premiere, HBO Documentaries will broadcast the film both on HBO and on HBO Max.
Christian Blauvelt provides additional reporting.