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Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Catholic Nun Drama ‘Novitiate’ — Sundance 2017

Margaret Betts' narrative feature debut premiered in Sundance's U.S. Dramatic Competition section on Friday.


Sony Pictures Classics is finalizing a deal to acquire the worldwide rights to the drama “Novitiate,” which premiered Friday in the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition section. The deal was somewhere in the seven figures, Deadline reports.

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Directed by Margaret Betts and set primarily in 1964 and 1965, the film centers on a young woman training to become a nun named Cathleen (Margaret Qualley). The teen struggles with faith, sexuality, and her relationship with the domineering Reverend Mother (Melissa Leo). The movie co-stars Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron, and Morgan Saylor.

“Both introspective and entertaining, Betts never forgets that her young nuns are still teenage girls, and ‘Novitiate’ rings as true as any other film about coming of age,” IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote in her review of the film. Carole Peterman, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler served as producers, while Jessica Betts and Roland Betts executive produced the movie.

“Novitiate” marks Betts’ feature-length narrative debut, following her 2010 documentary, “The Carrier,” about an HIV-positive and pregnant mother trying to protect her baby from being born with HIV/AIDS.

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CAA handled the sale of the movie, which was Sony Pictures Classics’ second acquisition at this year’s Sundance after pre-buying the worldwide rights to Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” for $6 million ahead of the fest.

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