The SXSW Film Festival has shuttered its doors for another year, and now news reaches us that the winner of this year's Best Narrative Feature award has found a distributor, as did two other festival favorites from Park City and TIFF.
Deadline reports that Sundance Selects has acquired the Latin and North American rights to Adam Leon's “Gimme the Loot,” his NYC-set drama that found popularity with the SXSW crowd immediately after it screened. Before one objects to another Biggie biopic though, the film promises instead a vibrant look at two graffiti artists from the Bronx (Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson), who seek revenge on a local gang by tagging a famous city landmark. With his feature debut, Leon seems to have replicated the festival success of Jonathan Levine's film “The Wackness,” which also made a stir with its outstanding soundtrack, young cast, and the reverent look at New York life. That film went on to become a moderate hit, so hopefully “Gimme the Loot” can make a similar splash when it's released later this year.
In more belated acquisition decisions, Variety reports that Wrekin Hill Entertainment has picked up Mark Webber's family drama “The End of Love,” which premiered at Sundance in January. Webber, taking the writer-director reins once again after his comedic turn as Stephen Stills in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” has chosen a much more personal route with this project, casting his 2-year-old son opposite himself as the boy's single father. The story follows a widowed father grieving in the aftermath of the death of his wife and mother to his son, and co-stars Shannyn Sossamon and Michael Ritter. Cameos from Michael Cera and Amanda Seyfried also turn up in the film, which from festival word is well-executed and without the jarring tone-shift that those two names might suggest. Find out for yourself when “The End of Love” is released in theatres and VOD late summer/early fall.
Finally, Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke's documentary film, “Baraka,” has slowly built a following ever since its release in '92 for its immersive, meditative snapshots of nature, rivaling “Koyaanisqatsi” in its stunning narration-free images, and now news of its follow-up has been revealed by Deadline. “Samsara,” which premiered at TIFF, has been acquired by Oscilloscope for an August release, and purports to have been filmed in 65mm “over a period of more than four years in five countries on five continents.” This is a film that just begs to be seen on the big screen, and with the nature documentary being Disney's game for the past few years, “Samsara” should prove a welcome change.