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Sundance 2022 Deals: ‘Nanny’ Is the Latest Festival Acquisition — Complete List

Amazon and Blumhouse teamed to acquire Nikyatu Jusu’s U.S. dramatic Grand Jury Prize winner.




Below is a constantly updated list and tally of acquisitions, beginning with the most recent deals.

Acquisitions during Sundance and immediately before the festival: 29
Earlier acquisitions: 16

Title: “Utama”
Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Kino Lorber

Bolivian writer-director Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s film, whose title translates to “our home,” centers around performances from non-professional actors and tells a story of an elderly indigenous couple whose longstanding way of life is threatened by a drought.

Kino Lorber announced it acquired U.S. rights to the Grand Jury Prize winner in April, and plans to release it in theaters later this year.

Title: “Nanny”
Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Blumhouse and Amazon Prime Video

Writer-director Nikyatu Jusu’s feature debut follows an undocumented Senegalese immigrant (Anna Diop) whose work as a nanny finds her cast as a pawn in her employers’ troubled marriage while a supernatural presence invades. It won the festival’s U.S. dramatic Grand Jury Prize.

“With ‘Nanny,’ Nikaytu Jusu has crafted a film that is as haunting as it is powerful. From the exceptional performances to its strong visual language, we can’t wait to share Nanny with our global audience and to continue our longstanding collaboration with Blumhouse,” said Julie Rapaport, Amazon Studios’ head of movies.

Blumhouse and Amazon together announced they had acquired worldwide rights to the film on March 16. Deadline reported their $7 million offer gave them an edge against other interested distributors, including Sony Pictures Classics and Neon, and that the film will get a theatrical and streaming release.

Title: “Leonor Will Never Die”
Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Music Box Films

Martika Ramirez Escobar’s film, which won the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit, follows a struggling writer who, after being knocked unconscious by a falling TV, finds herself inside the incomplete movie she’s trying to write.

Music Box announced it acquired North American rights on February 16. It’s planning a theatrical release for this year.

Title: “Aftershock”
Section: U.S. Documentary Competition
Buyer: Onyx Collective and ABC News

Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee’s documentary looks at the disproportionate ways Black women are failed by the U.S. maternal health system.

Disney’s Onyx Collective, a brand that curates content from creators of color, and ABC News announced that they jointly acquired the film on February 15. It will stream as an original film from Onyx Collective on Hulu in the U.S., on Star+ in Latin America, and on Disney+ in all other territories.

Title: “God’s Country”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: IFC Films

Julian Higgins’ directorial debut stars Thandiwe Newton as a professor living and working in the rural American West who finds herself drawn into an escalating battle of wills with a pair of hunters.

IFC acquired North American rights to the film and will release it theatrically this fall.

Title: “Piggy”
Section: Midnight
Buyer: Magnet Releasing

Carlota Pereda’s feature debut is an adaptation of her Goya Award-winning 2018 short, following a butcher’s daughter (Laura Galán) who is ridiculed for her appearance by a clique of mean girls in her rural Spanish village.

Magnet, Magnolia Pictures’ genre label, plans to release the film later this year.

Title: “Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Focus Features, Peacock, and Monkeypaw Productions

Writer-director Adamma Ebo’s feature debut is a full-length expansion of her earlier short, a mockumentary tracing the outrageous story of a Southern Baptist megachurch’s pastor and first lady in their attempts to resurrect their parish following a scandal. Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall are the leads and Daniel Kaluuya is among the producers of the film, which skewers religion and capitalism.

The film will get a day-and-date release from Focus and Peacock later this year, with the backing of Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions. The trio positioned the film as a way to introduce the voices of Ebo and her producer/twin sister Adanne Ebo, to audiences.

“Adamma and Adanne’s fresh, unique voices deliver such an authentic, hilarious and searing experience. Their vision coupled with the talents of Regina and Sterling deserved all the acclaim Sundance audiences gave it,” said Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski.

Title: “Sharp Stick”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Utopia

Lena Dunham’s sophomore feature stars Kristine Froseth as the naive, 26-year-old Sarah Jo, who lives in Los Angeles with her influencer sister (Taylour Paige) and eccentric mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Eager to lose her virginity, Sarah Jo embarks on a doomed affair with her employer (Jon Bernthal), the father of the boy for whom she is a caregiver, and the husband of a character played by Dunham.

Utopia plans to release the film theatrically in the U.S. this year.

Title: “Call Jane”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Roadside Attractions

With a cast led by Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver, Oscar-nominated “Carol” screenwriter Phyllis Nagy makes her directorial debut with a film based on the real-life Jane Collective, an underground organization that helped women access abortions before Roe V. Wade, when the procedure was illegal in most of the U.S.

Roadside announced it acquired U.S. rights to the film on February 4. It’s planning to release it in theaters this fall.

Title: “Emily the Criminal”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment

John Patton Ford’s debut feature stars Aubrey Plaza as the titular Emily, who faces hard consequences after a credit card scam pulls her into the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles.

Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment won North American rights in a bidding war the week after the festival. The film will get an exclusive theatrical release later this year. Redbox has joined the partnership for home entertainment distribution.

Title: “A Love Song”
Section: NEXT
Buyer: Sony’s Stage 6 Films and Bleecker Street

Set against the gorgeously rugged landscape of Southwest Colorado, Max Walker-Sliverman’s debut feature stars Dale Dickey and Wes Studi as two childhood friends who reunite decades later as they deal with love, loss, and loneliness.

Variety reported that Stage 6 and Bleecker Street teamed on the deal the week after the festival.

Title: “892”
Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Bleecker Street

Abi Damaris Corbin’s debut feature stars John Boyega, Connie Britton, and the late Michael K. Williams in his final role. Boyega stars as a veteran who decides to rob a bank after he’s driven to financial desperation.

Bleecker Street announced it acquired U.S. rights to the film the week after Sundance. It is planning a late summer nationwide theatrical release.

Title: “Watcher”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: IFC Midnight and Shudder

Chloe Okuno’s pandemic-shot horror film stars Maika Monroe as a woman who believes she’s being stalked after moving into a new apartment building. Karl Glusman and Burn Gorman also star in the film, which Okuno co-wrote with Zack Ford. After a festival dominated by horror movies, IFC Midnight acquired the film for release, with the first streaming window going to Shudder.

Title: “Am I OK?”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Warner Bros. and HBO Max

The directorial debut of married creatives Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne stars Dakota Johnson and Sonoya Mizuno as Lucy and Jane, two best friends who must navigate major changes in their lives when Jane agrees to move away for a job and Lucy confesses her deepest secret: that she loves women and has for a long time.

The film is set to premiere on HBO Max at a future date.

Title: “Free Chol Soo Lee”
Section: U.S. Documentary Competition
Buyer: MUBI

Julie Ha and Eugene Yi’s doc traces the 1973 murder conviction of 20-year-old Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee, the efforts to illuminate his wrongful conviction by journalist K.W. Lee, and the grassroots, pan-Asian American movement that subsequently took up the effort.

Streamer MUBI is planning a U.S. theatrical release with release plans for Latin America, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Turkey, the U.K. and other parts of North America to be announced soon. The acquisition was announced the day after producer Su Kim was presented with a Producers Award.

Title: “Descendant”
Section: U.S. Documentary Competition
Buyer: Netflix

Margaret Brown’s documentary focuses on the Africatown community in Mobile, which was founded by enslaved people who were transported there in 1860 aboard the last known and illegal slave ship, Clotilda. The ship was intentionally destroyed upon its arrival, and the long-awaited discovery of its remains offered the community a physical link to their ancestors.

Netflix announced that it acquired worldwide rights to the film shortly after the film won a Special Jury Award for Creative Vision. It will present the documentary later this year alongside the Obamas’ Higher Ground.

Title: “2nd Chance”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Showtime Documentary Films

Oscar-nominee Ramin Bahrani’s documentary spotlights the life and legacy of Richard Davis, the inventor of the modern bulletproof fest who shot himself 192 times to prove his product worked.

Showtime is planning a theatrical release ahead of a network premiere later this year.

Title: “Brian and Charles”
Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Focus Features

Jim Archer’s debut feature centers on Brian, a lonely Welsh inventor whose creations rarely work. He embarks on his biggest project when he sets out to turn a washing machine into Charles, an AI robot who has an obsession with cabbages.

Focus acquired worldwide rights and will distribute the film domestically. Universal will handle the international release and Film4 retains free TV rights in the U.K.

Title: “Resurrection”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: IFC Films and Shudder

Writer-director Andrew Semans’ second feature stars Rebecca Hall as a woman whose orderly life is disrupted when she starts encountering a man from her past (Tim Roth) in meetings that begin to feel like more than unlucky coincidences. Hall’s performance in the film has been among the festival’s most talked about.

“Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth give career-defining performances in Andrew Semans’ revelatory and diabolically entertaining ‘Resurrection.’ We are so thrilled to partner with Andrew and the amazing producing team to bring a film to audiences that will completely defy expectation,” said Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films.

The deal covers North American rights. IFC Films will release the film in theaters and on VOD, while Shudder will take the first streaming window.

Title: “Midwives”
Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition
Buyer: PBS’ “POV”

Snow Hnin El Hlaing’s documentary spotlights a makeshift medical clinic in Myanmar run by two women, Hla — a Buddhist — and Nyo Nyo — a Muslim, in a region where the Muslim minority Rohingya community are persecuted and denied basic rights.

The film will air as part of the upcoming 35th season of “POV.”

Title: “Cha Cha Real Smooth”
Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Apple TV+

Cooper Raiff’s bittersweet dramedy about an aimless 20-something’s post-grad wanderings in the New Jersey bar/bat mitzvah circuit, starred its director opposite Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Brad Garrett, Raul Castillo, and newcomers Vanessa Burghardt and Evan Assante.

Apple announced it acquired the film for $15 million to run on its Apple TV+ service, after competition from Netflix, Amazon, and Sony.

Title: “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Searchlight

Sophie Hyde’s film stars Emma Thompson as a retired teacher who hires a young sex worker named Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) in her quest for adventure.

Searchlight announced it had acquired U.S. rights after the film’s premiere. It will stream exclusively on Hulu.

Title: “Living”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Sony Pictures Classics

Oliver Hermanus’ film, written by Kazuo Ishiguro, is a reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru.” It stars Bill Nighy as a London bureaucrat who finds new meaning in a modest public works project after he’s diagnosed with a terminal illness. His new lease on life comes in part from the help of his one-time employee (Aimee Lou Wood).

SPC acquired the film following its premiere in a deal that includes all rights in North America, Latin America, India, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Germany, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and airlines worldwide.

Title: “Dual”
Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition
Buyer: RLJE Films

Writer-director Riley Stearns’ third feature combines satire and sci-fi and stars Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul. Gillan plays a woman who, after being diagnosed with a terminal disease, opts to clone herself to ease her loved ones’ loss. When she unexpectedly recovers, her attempts to decommission her clone fail and she’s forced to duel to the death.

AMC Networks’ RLJE announced the acquisition following the film’s premiere, nabbing all U.S. rights for a low-mid seven-figure sum in a competitive bidding situation. It’s planning a theatrical release this year.

Title: “Fire of Love”
Section: U.S. Documentary Competition
Buyer: National Geographic

Sara Dosa directs this innovatively edited archival exploration of the lives of Maurice and Katia Krafft, married volcanologists who died together at an eruption in Japan in 1991.

“We are absolutely honored to begin our journey with National Geographic Documentary Films,” said Dosa. “They champion cinematic storytelling about the wonders and power of the natural world, so there is truly no better fit for our ode to love and volcanoes. We are thrilled to take this next step with them to bring the awe-inspiring story of the Kraffts to audiences worldwide.”

Title: “The Territory”
Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition
Buyer: National Geographic

“The Territory” provides an immersive on-the-ground look at the tireless fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by illegal loggers and an association of nonnative farmers in the Brazilian Amazon.

Title: “Speak No Evil”
Section: Midnight
Buyer: Shudder

Writer-director Christian Tafdrup’s genre film tracks the friendship of two families, unalike in temperaments, who meet on a Tuscany vacation. When they meet up again on another holiday, questions arise about whether their cultural differences are just misunderstandings, or something more sinister.

Shudder, AMC Networks’ genre streaming service, acquired rights for the film ahead of its premiere. It’s set for release in North America, the U.K. and Ireland in late 2022.

Title: “Fresh”
Section: Midnight
Buyer: Searchlight

Known for directing videos for Sylvan Esso, Tune-Yards, and Vance Joy, Mimi Cave makes her feature debut with “Fresh,” which stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan. Lauryn Kahn wrote the script and Adam McKay and Kevin Messick are among the producers. The film explores the horrors of modern dating through a tale about a woman confronted by her new beau’s unusual appetites.

Searchlight announced it had acquired the film a week before the festival for streaming across Disney’s streaming platforms. It will premiere in the U.S. on March 4.

Title: “Calendar Girls”
Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition
Buyer: Juno Films

Directed by Maria Loohufvud and Love Martinsen, “Calendar Girls” profiles a Florida dance team comprised of women over 60 who are determined to prove that age is just a number.

Juno announced it acquired North American rights a week before the festival.

Title: “Neptune Frost”
Section: Spotlight
Buyer: Kino Lorber

Co-directed by poet, musician and actor Saul Williams and playwright-director Anisia Uzeyman, “Neptune Frost” is an Afrofuturist musical set in Burundi that serves as a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends.

It premiered in the Cannes Directors Fortnight before screening at TIFF and NYFF this fall. Kino Lorber announced it acquired worldwide rights on December 17. It plans to release the film theatrically in the U.S. in 2022 followed by a release on Kino Now, VOD platforms, and home video. The distributor will initiate international sales at Sundance and Berlin.

Title: “Alice”
Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Vertical Entertainment and Roadside Attractions

Krystin Ver Linden’s feature debut stars Keke Palmer as Alice, an enslaved person who, after she escapes from a Georgia plantation, learns the year is actually 1973. She is rescued by a disillusioned political activist Frank (Common). Common also produced the film’s music and curated its songs along with Karrien Riggins and Patrick Warren.

Vertical and Roadside Roadside announced they acquired North American rights on December 16. Roadside is planning an exclusive theatrical release on March 18 in the U.S.; details on a VOD component have not yet been announced.

Films arriving with distribution

Title: “We Need to Talk About Cosby”
Section: Premieres
Distributor: Showtime

W. Kamau Bell’s four-part docuseries promises an in-depth look at the career and personal descent of Bill Cosby.

Showtime will premiere the series on cable and VOD platforms on January 30.

Title: “Lucy and Desi”
Section: Premieres
Distributor: Amazon Studios

For her documentary debut, Amy Poehler takes a look at the relationship of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, including their personal and professional lives, innovations in studio production, and other bigger concepts.

The Imagine Documentaries and White House Pictures project was announced in August 2020. Amazon was revealed to be the film’s distributor when Sundance announce its lineup in December.

Title: “The Janes”
Section: U.S. Documentary Competition
Distributor: HBO Documentary Films

Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ documentary examines the fight for safe and legal abortions through the work of an underground network that helped women access the procedure in pre-Roe v. Wade Chicago.

HBO joined the project in the development stage will release it later this year.

Title: “Three Minutes — A Lengthening”
Section: Spotlight
Buyer: Super LTD

Dutch historian and cultural critic Bianca Stigter’s feature documentary ruminates on a three-minute, 16mm home movie shot by David Kurtz, which captures on film the Jewish inhabitants of a Polish town one year before the Nazis invaded. Most of those residents were eventually killed in the Treblinka extermination camp. The documentary, narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, is the latest collaboration between Stigter and co-producer Steve McQueen; Stigter was an associate producer on McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and “Windows.”

The film premiered at Telluride and screened at Venice and TIFF. Super LTD announced on October 19 it had acquired the film’s North American rights and plans to release it in theaters later this year.

Title: “Happening”
Section: Spotlight
Buyer: IFC FIlms and FilmNation

French director Audrey Diwan’s sophomore feature, set in ’60s France, follows a university student who faces the social and legal barriers to an abortion.

IFC and FilmNation teamed for U.S. rights after the film won the Golden Lion at Venice in 2021.

Title: “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy”
Section: Premieres
Distributor: Netflix

Back in 1998, Chicago public access TV host Coodie interviewed 21-year-old Kanye West. Inspired by “Hoop Dreams,” Coodie began documenting West’s life for years: The result is a three-part film totaling 270 minutes co-directed by music-video directors and documentarians Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, who got their break directing West’s 2004 “Through the Wire” video.

Netflix announced in September that it will release the film.

Title: “Summering”
Section: Kids
Buyer: Bleecker Street and Stage 6 Films

James Ponsoldt’s film, which he co-wrote with Benjamin Percy, is set in the waning days of summer for four friends, all set to go their separate ways when they start middle school. They soon stumble across a mystery that takes them on a life-changing adventure. The cast includes Lake Bell, Megan Mullally, and Sarah Cooper.

Bleecker Street and Stage 6 jointly acquired worldwide rights to the film in August. Bleecker Street will handle its U.S. release, with Stage 6 handling international distribution.

Title: “The Worst Person in the World”
Section: Spotlight
Buyer: Neon

Joachim Trier’s Oslo trilogy is completed by this story of a 30ish woman (Renate Reinsve) grappling with her romantic and career choices. When her older partner (Anders Danielsen Lie), a well-known graphic novelist, wants to have a child, she starts a flirtation that leads to their breakup.

Neon picked up the U.S. rights to the film in July after its Cannes premiere.

Title: “Emergency”
U.S. Dramatic Competition
Amazon Studios

Based on their 2018 Sundance award-winning short of the same name, director Carey Williams and screenwriter KD Dávila’s dark comedy follows a group of straight-A college students in their effort to become the first Black students to complete their school’s frat party tour. Their plan goes awry when they find a white girl passed out and must contend with the risks of calling the police under life-threatening optics. It stars Sabrina Carpenter, RJ Cyler, Donald Elise Watkins, and Sebastian Chacon.

Amazon Studios and Temple Hill announced the film in April.

Title: “You Won’t Be Alone”
Section: World Dramatic Competition
Buyer: Focus Features

Macedonian-Austrialian filmmaker Goran Stolevski’s feature debut is set in an isolated 19th century Macedonian village, where a young girl is transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit. After she inadvertently kills a villager and assumes her body, the witch (played by multiple actors, including Noomi Rapace, Alice Englert, Carloto Cotta, and Sara Klimoska) continues to inhabit different people.

Focus pre-bought world rights in December 2020, shortly after filming wrapped in Serbia.

Title: “The Princess”
Section: Premieres
Distributor: HBO

Oscar-nominated director Ed Perkins’ latest documentary takes an archive-only approach to tell the story of Princess Diana.

The film was produced by Lightbox in association with HBO and Sky. It will have a worldwide theatrical release in summer 2022 to mark the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death, along with an HBO TV and streaming premiere in the U.S.

Title: “When You Finish Saving the World”
Section: Premieres
Distributor: A24

Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut is an adaptation of his audio play, a comedy-drama that stars Finn Wolfhard as Ziggy, a high school student who performs original folk-rock songs to an online fan base, mystifying his uptight mother Evelyn (Julianne Moore). After Evelyn, who runs a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse, observes a bond between a mother and teenage son who seek refuge at her facility, she decides to take the teen under her wing against her better instincts.

A24 financed, produced, and will distribute the film, which is part of producers Emma Stone and Dave McCary’s first-look deal with A24, announced in October 2020.

Title: “Hatching”
Section: Midnight
Buyer: IFC Midnight

Finnish director Hanna Bergholm’s feature debut follows a teenage girl who struggles to please her image-obsessed mom. After finding a wounded bird in the woods, the girl brings its strange egg home, hatching a creature that becomes a close friend, surrogate child, and living nightmare.

IFC Midnight acquired North American rights at the Cannes virtual market in June 2020 in a bidding war.

Title: “Downfall: The Case Against Boeing”
Section: Premieres
Buyer: Netflix

Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Rory Kennedy’s film examines the 2019 Boeing 727 Max disasters that killed 346 people.

Produced by Imagine Documentaries, the film was originally conceived as a series. Netflix announced in April 2020 that it acquired the project and planned to release it as a movie.

Title: “Master”
Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition
Distributor: Amazon Studios

Regina Hall stars as the titular character, the name given to the dean of students at an elite New England university. The master, a first-year student (Zoe Renee), and a literature professor (Amber Gray) navigate politics and privilege at the school as they encounter increasingly terrifying manifestations of the school’s haunted past and present. The film marks writer-director Mariama Diallo’s first feature.

The project was announced by Amazon in November 2019.

Title: “After Yang”
Section: Spotlight
Distributor: A24

Written, directed, and edited by Kogonada, “After Yang” follows a family (Collin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Malea Emma Tjandrawidjajazu) trying to save the life of their robotic family member, Yang (Justin H. Min).

A24 greenlit the project in 2019, it premiered at Cannes in 2021.

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