EXCLUSIVE: The Orchard has acquired U.S. rights to Carly Stone’s The New Romantic which won the first time writer-director Best First Feature jury award at this year’s SXSW and will open this fall launching in New York and Los Angeles.

Pic follows aspiring journalist, hopeless romantic and college senior Blake Conway (Jessica Barden) who is terrified of graduating. In order to escape her looming post-graduation fate that includes student debt and zero romantic prospects, she becomes a sugar baby. As she documents the adventure in the hopes of winning a journalism award with a generous cash prize, she sets out on a quest to figure out if society is right to judge these women and if her own self worth comes with a price. Riverdale‘s Hayley Law and Camila Mendes also star.  Kyle Mann and Michael Risley of Drive Films produced as well as financed the film. Jonathan Bronfman of JoBro Productions and Jason Jallet of Notario also produced.

The New Romantic is a refreshingly bold and complex romantic comedy, helmed by talented writer-director Carly Stone who gives a nod to Nora Ephron with a voice and vision that is truly her own,” said Danielle DiGiacomo, VP of Acquisitions, The Orchard. “We are excited to partner with Carly and her amazing team to bring her debut film to audiences who will surely be entertained and delighted.”

“The Orchard is the perfect home for our film,” said Stone. “They’re passionate, cool and understand how to connect to our target audience.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with The Orchard, a distributor that shares our passion for Carly’s remarkable debut film,” said Mann.  “We can’t wait for an audience to fall in love with this authentic and genuinely funny film.”

The deal was negotiated by The Orchard’s Danielle DiGiacomo with Aqute Media’s Berry Meyerowitz & Jeff Sackman and ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmaker.  Stone is represented by ICM Partners and Good Fear.

The New Romantic marks The Orchard’s second SXSW pick-up in the last week following the rock-climbing documentary The Dawn Wall which won the fest’s Audience Award in the doc spotlight category.