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The Orchard is partnering with Unison Films and Funny or Die on the U.S. distribution of What We Do In The Shadows, a mockumentary/comedy written, directed by, and starring Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords, Men In Black 3) . The Orchard has secured U.S. digital, DVD and broadcast distribution rights, while Unison will be heading up the U.S. theatrical release and Funny or Die will leverage its social media and marketing reach leading up to the film’s release. Taika Waititi stars in the pic that follows a trio of New Zealand vampires struggling to adapt to modern society. The film premiered at Sundance this year and is screening at the Toronto International Film Festival next week. The deal was negotiated by Craig Sussman of The Orchard with producer Emanuel Michael and CAA.
Sierra/Affinity will oversee international sales of CBS Films’ The Duff. Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, Allison Janney, Robbie Amell, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Nick Eversman and Ken Jeong star in the film adaptation based on the novel by Kody Keplinger. Ari Sandel is directing from a screenplay adapted by Josh Cagan. The Duff follows Bianca (Whitman), a high school senior whose contented world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as “The DUFF” — or Designated Ugly Fat Friend to her prettier, more popular friends (Samuels, Santos). She enlists Wesley (Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself and save her senior year from turning into a total disaster. McG, Mary Viola, Susan Cartsonis are producing with Lane Bishop serving as exec producer. CBS Films releases The Duff wide in North America on February 20.
China Lion Film Distribution has acquired the Xu Zheng-Huang Bo starrer Breakup Buddies from IM Global for North America and Australia/New Zealand. The Mandarin-language film is directed by Chinese comedy director Ning Hao (Crazy Stone, Crazy Racer, No Man’s Land) and reunites Xu and Huang in their first comedy since Mainland smash Lost In Thailand. Zhou Dongyu co-stars in the pic, which finds Gene Hao (Huang) heartbroken after a divorce, leading to a night of heavy drinking followed by a visit to the hospital. His best friend, Hao Yi (Xu), breaks him out, and the two proceed on a cross-country road trip from Beijing to Shanghai to Dali in Southwest China, seeking out new women to make them forget their troubles. Breakup Buddies will be released in theaters October 2 in Australia and New Zealand and October 3 in the U.S. and Canada. The film will world premiere at Toronto this weekend.
Spotlight Pictures has taken worldwide sales rights for the environmentally conscious fable Chloe And Theo, starring Dakota Johnson and Mira Sorvino. Pic follows the story of a New York woman (Johnson) as she meets an Inuit man (Theo Ikuumaq) as he travels on a quest from the Arctic to New York to find the leaders of the industrialized world and convince them that climate change is real before his world melts away. John Paul DeJoria and Richard Branson are exec producing.
UK-based sales agent Dogwoof has inked deals for Frédéric Tcheng-helmed Dior And I. The documentary follows Raf Simons as the newly appointed creative director for legendary fashion house, and his creation and unveiling of the prestigious Dior Haute Couture Collection. All-rights deals were closed for Japan (Open Sesame/Alcine/Bunkamura), Australia/New Zealand (Madman), Hong Kong (EDKO) and Taiwan (Sky Dig Entertainment). The film will be released in North America by eOne in early 2015, with other foreign territories to follow, including Dogwoof in the UK.