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SXSW News: Netflix’s Deal with Duplass Brothers Pays Off on Hannah Fidell Drama ‘6 Years’

SXSW News: Netflix's Deal with Duplass Brothers Pays Off on Hannah Fidell Drama '6 Years'

Don’t mess with Netflix. No wonder theatrical distributors are threatened by the massive online buyer. It has deep pockets and while it took careful steps moving into series production (“House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black”) and documentary pickups (Oscar-nominated “The Square,” “Virunga”), and is partnering on Leonardo DiCaprio’s upcoming doc on the environment, Netflix is now challenging distributors on their home turf, bypassing theatrical and taking festival titles into the home. 

Domestic buyers were not happy when Netflix acquired “True Detective” auteur Cary Fukunaga’s feature “Beasts of No Nation,” which would ordinarily be a high profile theater-bound project. (Making a pact to make movies starring stumbling comedian Adam Sandler, whose “The Cobbler” tanked this weekend, bothered no one.)

Netflix landed this deal because they recently made a four-picture pact with the ubiquitous Jay and Mark Duplass, who gave a keynote at SXSW this weekend. The home streaming service will release “6 Years” later in 2015.

Hannah Fidell’s follow-up to “A Teacher” tracks a similarly intimate relationship. Taissa Farmiga (“American Horror Story”) and Ben Rosenfield (“Boardwalk Empire”) star as a couple under duress. 
Read Eric Kohn’s review: SXSW Review: Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield Anchor Hannah Fidell’s ‘6 Years’:

The movie follows a young couple facing the titular anniversary as their future prospects are challenged by various spats and infidelities. To this end, “6 Years” offers little in the way of new material. Yet Fidell, working with executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass, effectively broadens her range by borrowing the sibling directors’ improvisatory style and ceding control to her two leads, whose heartbreaking performances imbue this familiar Austin-set narrative with a fiery edge.

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