After a bidding war between four companies, Phase 4 Films has acquired North American rights to the 2010 Sundance Film Festival entry "The Freebie" in a mid-six figure deal. Part of the inaugural NEXT section highlighting American independents, the film was written, directed by and stars Katie Aselton. Regarded by indieWIRE's critics poll as the best film in the section, "Freebie" is a romantic comedy-drama about a contented, yet sexually frustrated couple's experiment to allow each other "one night off." Dax Shepard co-stars alongside Aselton and the film is produced by Adele Romanski and executive produced by Aselton and Mark Duplass.
"This is a great climax to a fantastic experience at Sundance," Katie Aselton added. "After heated discussion with several buyers over the weekend, ultimately it was Phase 4 Films' passion for the film and innovative distribution ideas that won us over. I can't wait to start working with them on the release of the film!"
The deal for "The Freebie" was negotiated by Larry Greenberg, Phase 4 Films' SVP of Acquisitions, with Josh Braun and Jason Janego from Submarine Entertainment. The deal closed on Sunday night at 11:55 pm MT, making it the last official acquisition of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Phase 4 Films plans to release "The Freebie" theatrically throughout North America in the Summer of 2010.
"'The Freebie' is one of those rare Sundance movies that you know is destined to be a classic," Berry Meyerowitz said on behalf of Phase 4 Films. "In her directorial debut, Katie Aselton has created an enchanting and refreshingly honest look at modern love that rivals Hollywood studio fare. Aselton shines both behind and in front of the camera, and is met every step of the way by her co-star Dax Shepard. We think this film is really going to connect with audiences and we couldn't be happier to be in business with Katie, Dax, Mark Duplass and Adele Romanski."
Check out indieWIRE's interview with Aselton here.