Sundance 2018: Film Acquisitions

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 12 Feb 2018

Check out the 2018 Sundance Film Festival movies that have been picked up for distribution around the world.

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Carey Mulligan in Wildlife (2018)

Wildlife (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: IFC

IFC Films secured U.S. and Canada rights to Paul Dano's directorial debut. Set in a small town in 1960s Montana, the story centers on a 14-year-old boy (Ed Oxenbould) who watches his parents drift apart. His father, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), abandons the family to fight forest fires, which leads his mother, Jeanette (Carey Mulligan), to reassess her life in a radical way.

Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O'Dowd in Juliet, Naked (2018)

Juliet, Naked (Premieres)

Acquired by: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions

U.S. rights to this romantic comedy starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, and Chris O'Dowd have been acquired by Lionsgate and sister company Roadside Attractions. A summer release is planned for the film about an unlikely transatlantic romance with faded singer-songwriter, who happens to be the subject of her ex-boyfriend's musical obsession.

Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Leo James Davis in A Kid Like Jake (2018)

A Kid Like Jake (Premieres)

Acquired by: IFC Films

IFC picked up U.S and Canadian distribution rights to this adaptation of Daniel Pearle's play. Claire Danes and Jim Parsons portray parents of a gender-noncomforming child.

See what the cast told us about the film at the IMDb Studio at Sundance

Raúl Castillo and Evan Rosado in We the Animals (2018)

We the Animals (NEXT)

Acquired by: The Orchard

North American rights to this coming-of-age drama have sold to The Orchard following its debut at Sundance. The first narrative film by documentary director Jeremiah Zagar, the story centers on three young brothers living with their volatile parents in a wooded upstate New York enclave. As their parents fight and passionately reunite, two of the boys grow into versions of their father while the third embraces an imagined world all his own. The movie will get a theatrical release in 2018.

The Oslo Diaries (2018)

The Oslo Diaries (World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Acquired by: HBO

HBO has acquired all domestic rights – including streaming – to this documentary that explores secret peace meetings between Israelis and Palestinians that took place in 1992. Directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan, the film uses the diaries of two Israeli professors and three PLO members, and includes unseen archival footage as well as the last on-camera conversation with former Israeli president Shimon Peres. HBO will debut the film later this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords.

Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie in Leave No Trace (2018)

Leave No Trace (Premieres)

Acquired by: Bleecker Street, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions

Bleecker Street has picked up North American distribution rights for this drama from Winter's Bone director Debra Granik. Ben Foster and newcomer Thomasin McKenzie star as a father and daughter who live undetected in Portland, Ore.'s Forest Park, until they are found and moved. Sony will handle worldwide distribution.

Laura Dern and Isabelle Nélisse in The Tale (2018)

The Tale (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: HBO Films

Oscar buzz for Jennifer Fox's drama has pivoted to Emmys buzz, as HBO has added The Tale in a reported $7 million deal. Laura Dern stars in a role Fox based on real-life experiences in realizing a relationship she had as a young teen may not have been consensual.

See what the film's stars and directors told us about The Tale

Yayoi Kusama

Kusama: Infinity (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Acquired by: Magnolia Pictures

Magnolia acquired U.S. distribution rights to Kusama: Infinity, a documentary about Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama that explores her upbringing, adulthood, and Pop Art style.


Sorry to Bother You (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: Annapurna

Annapurna picked up worldwide distribution rights to the directorial debut feature from Boots Riley, of hip-hop group The Coup. Terms were reportedly in the seven figures for the Oakland, Calif.-based workplace satire, which stars Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick, and others.

See what the Sorry to Bother You cast had to say at the IMDb Studio at Sundance

Kelly Macdonald in Puzzle (2018)

Puzzle (Premieres)

Acquired by: Sony Pictures Classics

Sony has secured worldwide distribution rights for this drama, which stars Kelly Macdonald as a housewife who enters the world of jigsaw-puzzle competitions. The deal was for an estimated $5 million, according to reports.

Chloë Sevigny, Kim Dickens, Denis O'Hare, Jeff Perry, and Kristen Stewart in Lizzie (2018)

Lizzie (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: Saban Films

Saban is planning a summer release, in partnership with Roadside Attractions, for this Lizzie Borden biopic starring Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart as star-crossed lovers. Sevigny has been working on the project in some form since 2010.

See what the cast told us about making Lizzie

Evan Peters, Jared Abrahamson, Blake Jenner, and Barry Keoghan in American Animals (2018)

American Animals (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: MoviePass Ventures and The Orchard

MoviePass made good on its earlier announcement of, "We're buying films now," as the ticketing service has partnered with The Orchard to secure U.S. distribution rights for this heist movie for a reported $3 million. International rights have not yet sold.

Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs in Blindspotting (2018)

Blindspotting (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: Lionsgate

Reportedly subject to bids from multiple distributors after its Sundance debut, this drama has landed with Lionsgate. Terms were not immediately disclosed. Starring Daveed Diggs as a man who witnesses a race-related police shooting on his last few days of probation, the film will see a theatrical release later this year.

Check out our first take after the movie's premiere

David Kellman, Robert Shafran, and Eddy Galland in Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Three Identical Strangers (Documentary Premieres)

Acquired by: Neon

Neon bought North American rights to this documentary about identical triplets Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman, who were separated at birth and reunited in their college-age years. CNN has U.S. broadcast rights.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg in RBG (2018)

RBG (Documentary Premieres)

Acquired by: Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media

This documentary about the life and career of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media. The deal will see the film distributed worldwide theatrically through home-entertainment and streaming platforms. Directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the documentary combines intimate interviews with access to Ginsburg’s life outside the court to tell the story of her life and work. CNN Films, which produced the doc, has U.S. broadcast rights.

Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons in Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

Hearts Beat Loud (Premieres)

Acquired by: Gunpowder & Sky (North America); Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (international)

After Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired international rights to Brett Haley’s tender drama early in the festival, Gunpowder & Sky later picked up rights for North America. The story centers on a father (Nick Offerman) and daughter (Kiersey Clemons), who form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for college.

Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz in Revenge (2017)

Revenge (Midnight)

Acquired by: Neon, Shudder

Neon continued its acquisitions run by picking up North American distribution rights for Revenge, which also bowed at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival. A spring theatrical release is planned for the thriller, in which a couple's weekend away escalates to violence. Shudder, AMC's horror streaming service, will premiere the title after its theatrical run.


Assassination Nation (Midnight)

Acquired by: Neon, AGBO

In the first eight-figure deal of Sundance 2018, Neon partnered with Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO to acquire this frenetic teen thriller. The reported $10M+ deal comprised worldwide rights and a wide release commitment. The movie centers on four high school girls who grab guns after an anonymous hacker exposes all of the town’s online secrets. The film also features It star Bill Skarsgård, who received this year’s IMDb STARmeter Fan Favorite Award at Sundance.

Jakob Cedergren in The Guilty (2018)

The Guilty (World Cinema Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: Magnolia Pictures

Magnolia purchased North American distribution rights for this Danish thriller about a dispatcher (Jakob Cedergren) who receives a call from a woman who allegedly has been kidnapped — and then, the line goes dead. No U.S. release date was announced at the time of the deal.

John David Washington and Anthony Ramos in Monsters and Men (2018)

Monsters and Men (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Acquired by: Neon

Neon — itself subject to acquisition by 30West — has nabbed U.S. distribution rights to this drama that tracks the impact on three individuals after an unarmed black man is shot and killed by a white police officer. Terms and theatrical-release details were not disclosed.

John Cho in Searching (2018)

Search (NEXT)

Acquired by: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions

On Jan. 22, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions purchased worldwide distribution rights for Search for a reported $5 million, the largest acquisition of the festival at that point. The film stars John Cho and Debra Messing and focuses on a parent's online hunt for clues around his daughter's sudden disappearance. Producer Sev Ohanian also picked up the Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Narrative Feature Producer at the festival.

Keira Knightley in Colette (2018)

Colette (Premieres)

Acquired by: Bleecker Street and 30West (North America); Lionsgate (U.K.)

Bleecker and 30West have partnered to acquire North America rights for this drama about a French author (Keira Knightley) who struggles to make a name for herself as her husband takes credit for her work. They are reportedly planning a midyear theatrical release. Lionsgate has purchased U.K. rights.

Jonathan Park and Calum Worthy in Bodied (2017)


Acquired by: YouTube

YouTube has secured this satirical drama, produced by Eminem and made by music video director Joseph Kahn. The story follows a progressive graduate student who finds success and sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession. YouTube has been scheduled to host a sneak peek screening of the film at Sundance on Jan. 21. The movie, first seen at the Toronto International Film Festival, will receive a theatrical release before being made available on subscription service YouTube Red.

The King (2017)

The King (Special Events)

Acquired by: Oscilloscope

North American rights to Eugene Jarecki’s Elvis-themed documentary have been acquired by Oscilloscope. The film sees Jarecki (a two-time Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner) take the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across the country Presley left behind, reflecting on a country in crisis. An earlier version of the film screened at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Following its Sundance screening, executive producer Steven Soderbergh is set to join Jarecki to discuss “innovative strategies” for the film’s 2018 release.

Larry Poons in The Price of Everything (2018)

The Price of Everything (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Acquired by: HBO

HBO Documentary Films secured the first deal of Sundance 2018 with the acquisition of this look at the high-end art world. Directed by Oscar-nominated Nathaniel Kahn, the documentary examines the forces that drive the multi-million-dollar art market, exploring galleries, studios, and auction houses, and speaking to artists including Jeff Koons and Gerhard Richter. HBO Documentary Films will release the feature theatrically in the U.S. before its premiere on HBO.