Deadline revealed exclusively Wednesday that Indomina acquired North American theatrical distribution rights to LUV. And that a significant TV component was part of the deal 7-figure deal brokered by ICM and Cinetic. BET is the TV piece. The film is now being screened for international buyers at EFM in Berlin. Here’s the official announcement:
Los Angeles, CA (February 11, 2012) – LUV, the dramatic thriller which premiered at Sundance in the feature competition, has been acquired by The Indomina Group and BET Networks. The film will receive a significant North America theatrical release from Indomina, tentatively set for Fall 2012, followed by a broadcast premiere on BET – which has acquired television rights exclusive in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as certain ancillary rights on other platforms.
LUV (n.b. All Caps) is directed by Sheldon Candis and written by Candis and Justin Wilson. The film stars Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Meagan Good, Lonette McKee and Michael Kenneth Williams.
LUV follows 11-year-old Woody Watson, a timid Baltimore orphan who dreams of a better life — and awaits the return of his absent mother. Woody also reveres his uncle Vincent as the father figure he never had. A street hustler and former drug dealer, Vincent’s fresh off an eight-year stint in prison and wants a new direction.
When Vincent bypasses his nephew’s school one day and offers to show Woody how a man handles his business, Woody jumps at the opportunity to join his uncle on a field trip of life lessons. But the temptations of Vincent’s old life of crime return to haunt him, and a day once bright with optimism quickly spirals downward into a world of violence. Coming of age all too fast by day’s end, Woody starts to doubt his hero and ultimately must decide where to stand.
Indomina Vice Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann said, “‘LUV’ is a highly engaging film with resounding performances from a brilliant cast. It has everything we look for in a film and we believe it will resonate with audiences.”
BET’s President of Original Programing, Loretha Jones, said “We’re excited to add LUV to the existing slate of films that constitute a significant part of our programming. It has an outstanding cast, and tells a compelling story that is not only entertaining, but relatable for the BET audience.”
“I’m delighted to have found such a great home with two forward thinking companies like Indomina and BET,” said Candis.
The film’s producers are Jason Michael Berman, W. Michael Jenson, Gordon Bijelonic, Datari Turner, Joel Newton, James R. Rosenthal, Common and Derek Dudley. The executive producers are Thomas B. Fore, Michael Finley, Dwayne Robinson, Sandra R. Berman, Mark G. Mathis, Steven Saxton and Mary Vernieu. LUV features original music by Interscope artist Blaqstarr.
The deals were negotiated by Cinetic Media and ICM on behalf of the filmmakers; Senior Vice President of Distribution and Marketing, Bruce Kirkland, and Vice President of Acquisitions, Rob Williams on behalf of Indomina, and Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Darrell E. Walker on behalf of BET Networks. International rights are being represented by Eric Christenson of Hollywood Studios International, with the film screening this week at the European Film Market. Candis and Wilson are represented by Jeremy Platt and Jelani Johnson at Generate. ICM also represents Michael Rainey, Jr., Danny Glover and producer Jason Michael Berman.
Recent acquisitions for The Indomina Group’s releasing division include Ice-T’s performance documentary “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap,” that was acquired this year at Sundance Film Festival, “A Fantastic Fear of Everything” starring Simon Pegg, and the thriller “Life Without Principle” – the newest film from internationally acclaimed director/producer and contemporary maestro of Hong Kongese action cinema Johnnie To.
In 2011 Indomina released the highly acclaimed epic adventure “Detective Dee and The Mystery of the Phantom Flame” directed by Tsui Hark, one of the highest grossing Chinese films at the US box office in recent years; the romantic comedy “Griff the Invisible,” starring Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”); Yuen Woo Ping’s martial arts feature “True Legend,” starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Michelle Yeoh and the late David Carradine; and Teddy Chan’s award-wining “Bodyguards & Assassins.”
Indomina is teaming with Samuel L. Jackson to produce a new live action “Afro Samurai” film based on the popular animated series that has spawned an impressive franchise and a global following.