A24 is closing on what is undestood to be a $6m deal for worldwide rights to Lulu Wang’s directorial debut The Farewell starring Awkwafina, which became an early Sundance hit following its world premiere in Park City in Friday.
The distributor beat out a number of studios and streamers, all of whom had bid on the film after it lit up The Eccles at its first showing in US Dramatic Competition. It screens again on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The deal followed Amazon Studio’s $13m acquisition of US rights to Late Night, NEON’s US deal for Monos, and the acquisition of Frédéric Tcheng’s fashion documentary Halston by 1091 Media (new owner of The Orchard’s film and TV group). HBO FIlms acquired Share in association with A24, which produced and financed that film.
Wang’s story centres on a Chinese family’s efforts to arrange a wedding so the dying grandmother – who does not know about her terminal cancer diagnosis – can be with her family one last time.
Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub of Big Beach, whose Little Miss Sunshine caused a sensation here back in 2006, produced the USA-China comedy-drama alongside Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Wang, and Anita Gou.
A24 brokered the deal with Endeavor Content and UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.
At time of writing buyers interest had coalesced around the documentaries Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary and American Factory, as well as Adam Driver drama The Report, and Honey Boy written by Shia LaBeouf.