Apple Wins Bidding War For 2021 Sundance Title ‘CODA’ For $25M

0

Apple has won big in the first deal of the all-virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival, landing worldwide rights to CODA after a tense bidding war, for a total price of just above $25 million. The extraordinarily high bid sets a new a Sundance acquisitions record, beating last year’s Hulu/Neon deal for the Andy Samberg-Cristin Milioti film Palm Springs for $22.5 million.

According to Deadline, Apple and Amazon were the final bidders. The coming-of-age drama from writer-director Siân Heder is about a high school senior who is the only non-deaf person in her family, struggling to make a life of her own while trying to keep her family together. The film premiered on opening night in the U.S. Dramatic Competition and received glowing reviews and reaction from buyers who drove the price up.

The filmthe title of which is the acronym for Child of Deaf Adultscenters on Ruby (Emilia Jones) who must decide between helping her deaf family’s strained fishing business or pursuing her love of music. The movie is based on the award-winning French hit La famille belier.

Boston’s iconic fishing scene is captured quite well by Heder, who successfully melds the messages of classic Motown, Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye hits (some of Ruby’s favorite artists) with the characters’ stories as they navigate difficult circumstances. The film also brilliantly displays to audiences how deaf parents experience the world without sound while attempting to appreciate the aspiring singing talent of their adored daughter that they can’t hear.

“I have been so moved by the outpouring of response to the film and am so excited to have found a partner in Apple that loves and deeply gets this movie, the spirit in which it was created and is committed to having this film reach the widest audience possible in a thoughtful and meaningful way,” said writer/director Heder. “The whole CODA team is also so grateful to Sundance for being a part of the film’s journey. 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. The world has waited too long for these stories to be told. Now is the time. No more excuses.”

Also starring in the hit indie film are Eugenio Derbez, Marlee Matlin and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. Philippe Rousselet and Patrick Wachsberger produced the film with Jerome Seydoux. Ardavan Safaee and Sarah Borch-Jacobsen were executive producers and Hester Hargett-Aupetit, Ged Dickersin, Marie De Cenival, Eric Jehelmann, Stephane Celerier, and Valerie Garcia were all attached as co-producers.

The film auction was mediated by CAA Media Finance and ICM Partners and Pathe.

You can check out our full review of CODA right here. Also, if you want to watch a cool interview with deaf star Marlee Matlin that IMDb conducted, click here.

Michael is a music and television junkie keen on most things that are not a complete and total bore. You can follow him on Twitter — @Tweetskoor

View original post