Whit Stillman’s “Love and Friendship,” which is easily one of the most anticipated titles at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has been picked up in a joint distribution deal between Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions.
Based on an unpublished Jane Austen story about a socially downtrodden widow who moves in with her in-laws, the period comedy reunites the director with his “Last Days of Disco” leading ladies Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel and Emma Greenwell co-star.
Under the brokered deal, Amazon will take all domestic rights and partner with Roadside Attractions for the film’s theatrical distribution. The film will debut in theaters via Roadside before hitting Amazon’s streaming platform. The strategy is identical to how both companies joined forces to release Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” last December.
Something to note in terms of Sundance is how Amazon’s move stands in direct contrast with Netflix’s pre-festival acquisitions. The latter streaming giant has solely been purchasing streaming rights to its purchased films and leaving theatrical rights up for sale.
The deal marks Amazon’s second big buy at Sundance, the first being “Complete Unknown.”
“Love and Friendship” premieres at the festival on Saturday night. The deal was first reported by Deadline.