UPDATE, 11:25 AM: Alchemy has confirmed my Saturday scoop that it has landed its first major pickup since rechristening itself from Millennium Entertainment. Strangerland got a strong response at its Sundance Film Festival premiere Friday particularly for a powerful performance by Nicole Kidman, who stars with Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving. The distributor says the Kim Farrant-directed drama will be released sometime this year.
See the full release after my original break.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, SATURDAY PM : Alchemy, the rechristened company formerly known as Millennium Entertainment, has acquired rights to Strangerland, the Kim Farrant-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving. The Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons-scripted pic is about a couple whose two teenage children disappear into the remote Australian desert. The couple’s relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children’s fate. A multi-platform deal with a theatrical release is in the works and the total deal is under $1.5 million.
CAA is brokering the deal for Strangerland here at Sundance. It premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition last night at the Egyptian, and got a strong response particularly for a powerful performance by Kidman. Worldview financed and Wild Bunch is selling foreign. Bill Lee last year completed a buyout of Millennium, which once was the distribution arm of Nu Image, and he set up a $40 million credit facility and he planned to come into Sundance with the hope of making some acquisitions. Now he’s on the board.
Here’s the full release:
LOS ANGELES, January XX, 2015 – The newly minted Alchemy announced today that it has acquired all North American rights to director Kim Farrant’s STRANGERLAND starring Academy Award® winner Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving. The film premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition on Friday night at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it received a strong audience response. The announcement was made today by Alchemy’s CEO Bill Lee. STRANGERLAND will receive a multi-platform release later this year.
“Seeing the film with a full house confirmed our hopes and expectations,” said Lee. “STRANGERLAND is a gorgeously shot, entertaining and thoughtful thriller that features a stellar cast and a particularly riveting turn from Nicole Kidman.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Alchemy whose passion and vision for the film is very exciting,” noted Naomi Wenck and Macdara Kelleher.
Written by Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons and based on a story by Seres, STRANGERLAND is produced by Macdara Kelleher and Naomi Wenck, and executive produced by Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah E. Johnson, Adriana L. Randall, Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten. The film centers on a couple that have recently transplanted to a remote Australian desert town. Their lives are flung into crisis when they discover their two teenage kids have mysteriously disappeared just as a massive dust storm hits.
Alchemy VP of Acquisitions Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal with CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. Wild Bunch is handling foreign sales, with Transmission distributing in Australia and New Zealand.
Today’s acquisition follows the recent rebrand of Millennium Entertainment as Alchemy, a name that embodies the company’s goals of uniting storytellers and their audiences in one dynamic community as well as the belief that conventional distribution strategies must evolve to represent the future of screen-based storytelling—wherever that screen may be.