– Open Road Films has announced that it has acquired domestic distribution rights to “Spark,” an animated space adventure starring voice talent from Academy Award-winning actresses Hilary Swank and Susan Sarandon, Golden Globe nominee Patrick Stewart, Jessica Biel, and introducing Jace Norman. The animated film is directed by Canadian filmmaker Aaron Woodley. Open Road Films plans to release the film in theatres on April 14, 2017.
– IFC Films has announced at the American Film Market conference that the company has acquired U.S. rights to Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert.” The film, written and directed by Herzog, stars Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Damian Lewis. They will the release the film in the spring of next year.
The film “is the true story of British explorer, cartographer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell (Kidman). Set against the backdrop of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, Bell sets off on an epic odyssey as an attaché of the British Empire to chart and define the modern borders of the Middle East.”
– Kino Lorber has acquired all U.S. rights to Vanessa Gould’s acclaimed documentary “Obit.,” an unprecedented inside look at the famed obituaries desk at The New York Times.
After a successful world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the film played at the acclaimed Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto and the AFI Docs festival in Washington, DC, gathering an impressive list of accolades throughout the year. The film is now scheduled for a theatrical premiere at New York’s Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinema on April 26, 2017, and will expand nationwide following the NY release.
– The Orchard has announced today that it has acquired North American rights to the TIFF premiere “Carrie Pilby.” The film, which stars Bel Powley (“Diary of a Teenage Girl”), was directed by Susan Johnson from a script by Kara Holden, the film is based on the internationally best-selling novel by Caren Lissner. It also stars Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Bayer, Colin O’Donoghue, William Moseley and Jason Ritter. The Orchard plans an early 2017 release for the film.
The film follows Powley as the eponymous character, “a genius who graduated Harvard at 18. Convinced that the world is populated by ovesexed hypocrites, she has a hard time making sense of life as it relates to morality, relationships, sex and leaving her apartment. In an effort to coax Carrie out of her shell, her psychiatrist (Lane), makes a deceptively simple checklist of goals for her to achieve between Thanksgiving and the year’s end. Each goal brings Carrie closer to the understanding that humans, like books, can’t be judged by their covers.”
– Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up worldwide rights to the murder mystery feature “Cover Versions,” written and directed by Todd Berger. The film stars Katie Cassidy, Drake Bell, Austin Swift, Jerry Trainor and Debby Ryan and “is about four band members who tell varying accounts of a night of sex, drugs, and murder before their first big show at a popular music festival.” The film just wrapped principal photography. The news was first reported by Deadline.
– BOND/360 has announced it has acquired the exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to “Strike a Pose,” the fabulously candid and at times somber documentary that reunites the sleek and effervescent dancers from Madonna’s iconic “Truth or Dare,” 25 years after the controversial film and tour swept pop culture. Directed by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan, the film explores life for the dancers after the tour and legal battles with Madonna, their glamorous and largely inspirational impact upon society, the horrific effects of HIV/AIDS during and since the 90’s, and of course what it meant to participate in one of the most iconic and controversial tours of pop history.
BOND/360 will release the documentary in theaters this winter with a broadcast, digital and DVD release to follow.
– Breaking Glass Pictures has set the release dates for Gary and Edmund Entin’s thriller “Sins of Our Youth” starring Lucas Till. Breaking Glass acquired the North American rights to the film in October in a deal negotiated by Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff and Executive Producer Anthony Bretti of Enumerated Pictures. The film will open in Los Angeles and selected cities starting December 2; the film streets on DVD and all major North American TVOD platforms December 6, 2016.
– First Run Features has acquired TIFF 2016 title “All Governments Lie.” Opening in New York and Los Angeles theaters for a qualifying run today, First Run is planning a broader theatrical release in early 2017. Fred Peabody’s documentary follows independent investigative journalists following in the footsteps of writer I.F. Stone, among them Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Matt Taibbi. Oliver Stone is also an executive producer on the film. (You can watch the trailer here.)