Exclusive: Bargaining has begun. Searchlight Pictures closed its first major deal at the Sundance Film Festival – $10 million for WW rights A real pain, written and directed by Jesse Eisenberg. He stars as mismatched cousins David and Benjy alongside newly minted Emmy-winning heir star Kieran Culkin. They reunite for a tour of Poland to honor their grandmother, but old tensions resurface in the wake of their family history. The film will release in big theatres.
The film also stars Jennifer Gray and Will Sharp, and is produced by Topic and Fruit Tree, with Ali Herding, Dave McCurry, Eva Puszczynska, Jennifer Semler, Eisenberg and Emma Stone producing. The film, which has been playing in the US theatrical competition, has been a hot topic and has seen a flurry of bids since its premiere yesterday at the Eccles.
The deal was brokered by CAA Media Finance and WME. It's a formal nighttime auction, a throwback to years past at Sundance. A large number of bidders participated. Searchlight executives Paul Hoffman and Chan Fung brokered the deal.
“We are amazed by Jesse's vision and craft in telling this hilarious and profound film,” said Searchlight Presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum. “He tells a deeply personal story and makes it universal. We can't wait to bring it to audiences around the world.
Eisenberg added, “Making A real pain Love was a real labor of love, and premiering at Sundance was a thrill. I couldn't be more proud to work with Searchlight and bring this story to a wider audience.
“We couldn't be more proud of Jesse and this beautiful film, and we're thrilled to be teaming up again with David, Matthew and our friends at Searchlight,” said Ryan Heller, EVP of Film and Documentary at Topic Studios.
Fruit Tree Camp said: “We are huge believers in Jesse's creative voice and were delighted to collaborate again on his second film with such an ambitious scope and themes. Having another friend and beloved collaborator in Kieran Culkin and working with the amazing team at Searchlight is more than we could ask for.
Many films screened in the opening act of the festival have generated a lot of excitement, with more to come today. There's more talk of deals than I've heard at this stage of the festival in years. It's not certain that it will be as record-breaking as the $25 million Apple paid for CODA, which eventually won the Best Picture Oscar, but these films will find plenty of homes. Buyers and sellers often don't sell until they've gone home because the pace of dealmaking is more deliberate than in the past, because you can appreciate the artistry of a film, but you have to be sure you can market it and publish it and make it. Some money. But it's a good time in Park City.