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Updated: Ashton Kutcher's "Spread" Sale Stirs Sundance

By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire January 24, 2009 at 2:08AM

In the biggest deal of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Overture sister company Anchor Bay Films has acquired U.S. and Australian rights to David Mackenzie's "Spread," according to a source close to the deal. The film, produced by and starring Ashton Kutcher, has also been sold to TVA for Canada. Insiders pegged the pacts at a nearly $4 million sale tonight.
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In the biggest deal of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Overture sister company Anchor Bay Films has acquired U.S. and Australian rights to David Mackenzie's "Spread," according to a source close to the deal. The film, produced by and starring Ashton Kutcher, has also been sold to TVA for Canada. Insiders pegged the pacts at a nearly $4 million sale tonight.

Endeavor Independent's Graham Taylor and CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of Barbarian Films with Kevin Kasha from Anchor Bay. "Good things come to those who wait," noted one tipster tonight, referring to a festival that has seen few sales as it enters its final weekend. The insider added that the deal involves an aggressive theatrical commitment and bonuses for the release.

The film, produced by Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Peter Morgan, features Kutcher, Anne Heche, Margarita Levieva, Rachel Blanchard, Sebastian Stan and Sonia Rockwell in an L.A. story of a male gigolo.

Chris McGurk runs Overture and Anchor Bay as CEO of both companies.

Endeavor is also selling Shana Feste's "The Greatest" at the Sundance Film Festival, expecting to sell the film in the next 24 hours. Among the other films understood to be closing in on deals, potentially before the end of the fest (according to insiders) are Doug Pray's "Art and Copy," Louise Psihoyos's "The Cove," Michael Orion Scot's "Over the Hills and Faraway," Lee Daniels' "Push," and Emily & Sarah Kuntsler's "William Kuntsler: Disturbing The Universe."

"This is the biggest Anchor Bay films acquisition ever," the company's Kevin Kasha told indieWIRE late tonight, "What the Dimension brand meant to Miramax, that's what we want Anchor Bay Films to be to our sister company Overture!" He continued, "We are thrilled to be in business with Ashton Kutcher and the 'Spread' team. On behalf of the entire Anchor Bay Films family, words do not do justice to express how excited we are!"

This article is related to: Acquisitions