The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing over in Utah, and a whole host of films have had their premieres in the variety of showcases across the festival. As ever, many of the films have had distributors clamouring over each other to purchase the distribution rights and a lucky few have been successfully picked up for cinema or VOD release.
Starring Jack Black (School of Rock) and James Marsden (The Best of Me), The D Train is close to being acquired by IFC Films. Variety reports that the comedy, directed by Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, sees Black star as an insecure guy heading preparations for his 20th high school reunion, and takes to befriending the most popular guy in his class (Marsden) in order to boost the profile of both the reunion and his own life.
The deal for the film, set to be over in the seven-figure range, would see IFC distributing the film wide is the US.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Classics have snapped up The Diary of a Teenage Girl, starring British actress Bel Powley (Benidorm) as a 15-year-old comic book artist in ’70s San Francisco who begins sleeping with her mother’s boyfriend.
Directed by Marielle Heller, the film co-stars Kristen Wiig (The Skeleton Twins) as Powley’s mother, Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) portrays the boyfriend and Christopher Meloni (Sin City 2). The deal with Sony sees them acquire the US distribution, as well as a variety of different territories across the world.
Premiering in the US Dramatic Competition, Dope is a coming-of-age film about three young adults growing up in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood, heading by Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and co-starring Zoe Kravitz and Forest Whitaker.
Deadline reports that Rick Famuyiwa’s film scored a hugely lucrative deal of over $7 million deal (rising to $12 million), which will see Open Road Films (US) and Sony (Internationaal) sharing the distribution.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
In what is a record-breaking deal for Sundance, Alfonso Gomez-Rejo’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which debuted to stellar reviews over the weekend, has a worldwide distribution deal with Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush which could reach $12 million after a bidding war broke out over the film.
Deadline reports that the deal will be the biggest Sundance distribution deal in its history, trumping the $10 million deals done for The Way, Way Back and Little Miss Sunshine (both also bought by Searchlight), as well as the deal for Hamlet II done by Focus Features.
The film is adapted by Jesse Andrews from his own novella, and tells the story of a high-school senior outcast who ends up spending time with a girl suffering with leukemia.
“We are so thrilled to be a part of this film – the movie completely floored us and stole our hearts,” said Searchlight presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula. “The response at the festival has been extraordinary. The performances are honest and relatable and the film is smart, funny and original.”