Sundance: Way Back, Blackfish, Darlings in deals avalanche
As deals continued to explode out of Park City, Fox Searchlight paid just under $10m for North America and select major territories to Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s feature directorial debut The Way, Way Back. Meanwhile SPC has acquired Kill Your Darlings and CBS Films picked up Toy’s House.
On the same day  Magnolia and CNN Films swooped on US rights to the killer whale documentary Blackfish.
Searchlight negotiated through Monday night with WME, CAA and Craig Emanuel following the world premiere of The Way, Way Back at the Eccles and will release the coming-of-age tale this summer. Sierra / Affinity handles international sales.
OddLot Entertainment and Sycamore Pictures co-financed the project and Kevin J Walsh of The Walsh Company produced with Tom Rice of Sycamore. The latter’s Ben Nearn and George Parra served as executive producers alongside OddLot principal Gigi Pritzker, as well as Faxon and Rash.
Sam Rockwell, Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb and Amanda Peet star in the story of a shy 14-year-old boy’s rite of passage one summer when he befriends a gregarious water park manager.
CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures negotiated with Submarine for US rights to Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish, about the history of orcas in captivity.
Magnolia plans a summer theatrical release for the documentary, followed by a domestic broadcast premiere on CNN later in the year.
SPC has taken the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, African TV and Eastern Europen excluding CIS to Benaroya Pictures and Killer Films’ Kill Your Darlings directed by John Krokidas and starring Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg.
The Beat drama tells the little-known story of a murder that brought Ginsberg together with Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs when the writers were in their youth. UTA and Elevated Film Sales represented domestic rights in the negotiations with SPC and Inferno handles intenational sales.
CBS Films has acquired US rights to Toy’s House, Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ feature directrorial debut that screened in the US Dramatic Competition. CBS Films’ acquisitions teams brokered the deal with Cinetic Media.
As Monday came to a close there continued to be a flurry of interest from buyers on Georgio Diritti’s World Dramatic Competition entry There Will Come A Day.
- Thomas Jane will present a sneak preview of the crowd-funded documentary Sirius at the festival on Wednesday. Amardeep Kaleka directed the film about the work of UFOlogist Dr Steven Greer and the Disclosure Project, which seeks to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding UFOs and extra-terrestrial life. Jane narrates.