By Jay A. Fernandez and Anne Thompson | Indiewire January 21, 2013 at 4:45PM
The Weinstein Co. picked up its first film of the Sundance Film Festival Monday by outbidding Fox Searchlight, Focus Features and Paramount for rights in English-speaking territories to the tragic drama “Fruitvale” from first-time writer-director Ryan Coogler. The U.S. dramatic competition film had its world premiere Saturday night at the MARC.
One source puts the final bid in the $2.5 million range, which includes international sales rights.
Based on a true story, "Fruitvale" follows the last day of a 22-year-old man trying to change the course of his life before his death in a police shooting in San Francisco on New Year's Day 2009. Michael B. Jordan stars with Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray and Sahna O’Reilly.
Indiewire critic Eric Kohn was impressed with Coogler's handling of the material, calling it "an incredibly moving and confident first feature." Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker produced.
“I was completely amazed by this incredible film," said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. "This earth-shattering story is one that needs to be told, and we are honored to be able to share Oscar’s story with audiences everywhere. I was totally blown away by the cast, and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with such a great group of filmmakers.”
WME Global repped the sale for the filmmakers.