Saturday, January 30, 2021

"CODA," Sundance film about sole hearing member of Deaf New England family who discovers she has a talent for singing, purchased by Apple for record-breaking $25 million

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Apple has nabbed the rights to Sundance drama CODA from writer-director Sian Heder in a deal worth $25 million according to sources.

Heading into the fest, it was anticipated that the movie would be one of Sundance's hottest titles. A bidding war began after the movie's day one premiere, which saw Netflix and Amazon put in bids for the movie.

The final $25 million price tag makes the film the biggest sale in the festival's history, beating out last year's record-breaker Palm Springs, which sold to Neon and Hulu in a deal that was worth $22 million.  (Prior to Palm Springs, 2016's Birth of a Nation held the record with a $17.5 million to Fox Searchlight.)

The title, which premiered in the U.S. dramatic competition, follows Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and abandoning her family.

Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant and Marlee Matlin also star in the film.

Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, and Patrick Wachsberger produced the movie, with Ardavan Safaee and Sarah Borch-Jacobsen executive producing.

"I hope that this film and Apple’s powerful support will help kick down some doors standing in the way of inclusion and representation and pave a path for more stories that center characters from the Deaf and Disabled community," said Heder. "The world has waited too long for these stories to be told. Now is the time. No more excuses.”

CAA Media Finance and ICM Partners negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.