Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights from Bankside to Jim Archer’s UK comedy Brian And Charles following its premiere last weekend in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
The film was developed and co-funded by Film4 and the BFI and centres on co-writer David Earl’s alter ego, Brian Gittins, and his unlikely friendship with a robot named Charles. Co-writer Chris Hayward plays the robot. The cast includes Lynn Hunter, Louise Brealey, Jamie Michie and Nina Sosanya.
Focus Features will distribute the film in the US and Universal Pictures will distribute internationally. Film4 will retain free TV rights to the film in the UK.
Rupert Majendie produced Brian And Charles for Mr Box, the UK producer that offers comedians a platform to create and broadcast their own sketches and podcasts.
Executive producers are Damian Jones, Mary Burke for the BFI, and Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4. Bankside launched sales at the Cannes virtual market last summer. Bankside Films negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers with Joe Toto and Carlen Johnson for Focus.
Brian And Charles marks the latest in a modest flow of deals that continued on Friday with IFC/Shudder partnering on Rebecca Hall starrer Resurrection following Apple’s $15m worldwide buy on Cooper Raiff’s well-liked coming-of-age tale Cha Cha Real Smooth in which the writer-director stars opposite Dakota Johnson.
At time of writing buyers were circling Aubrey Plaza crime thriller Emily The Criminal and there was ongoing interest in Chloe Okuno’s Watcher, Kathryn Ferguson’s Sinead O’Connor documentary Nothing Compares, Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul by twin sisters Adamma Ebo and Adanne Ebo, and Isabel Castro’s Mija.