EXCLUSIVE: Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired U.S. rights to Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment’s family film Dakota, starring Abbie Cornish (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Lola Sultan (Netflix’s Yes Day), William Baldwin (Backdraft), Patrick Muldoon (The Comeback Trail) and Tim Rozon (Surreal Estate), for release in limited theaters beginning April 1, with a platformed theatrical rollout to follow.
In the action-adventure pic, recently widowed single mom Kate Sanders (Cornish) lives on her family’s farm in Georgia with her daughter Alex (Sultan). Life on the farm is a challenge and things only get more complicated when the combat dog Dakota, delivered by Sergeant CJ Malcolm (Rozon), arrives on their doorstep. CJ is fulling a promise made to Kate’s late husband, his friend and fellow Afghanistan veteran Marine Clay Sanders, to bring Dakota home to them, upon his death.
Kate spends her time between the farm and running the volunteer fire department, with Dakota watching over the family, becoming a local hero helping out around town, and finding a special bond with Alex’s grandfather (Baldwin). Meanwhile, the local Sheriff (Muldoon) knows an old, long-since-buried secret that the Sanders’ farm is valuable, and has been leaning on Kate to sell. He will stop at nothing to get his hands on their land.
With the help of Alex and Dakota, Kate realizes the true value of the farm, with Dakota teaching Alex that there is nothing better than a dog as a best friend.
Kirk Harris directed from a script by Johnny Harrington, with Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Danielle Maloni and Marty Poole producing.
ILBE and Samuel Goldwyn previously teamed to release the starry dramas Minamata, top lined by Johnny Depp, and Waiting for the Barbarians, the film adaptation of J.M. Coetzee’s prize-winning novel, also starring Johnny Depp, along with Mark Rylance, Robert Pattinson and Greta Scacchi.
Samuel Goldwyn Films also recently acquired rights to the Oscar-shortlisted Panamanian drama Plaza Catedral and the Oscar-shortlisted Bhutanese film Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom. The company last year released Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round, which won the Oscar for Best International Feature, and scored an additional nom with Kaouther Ben Hania’s drama The Man Who Sold His Skin. It has also previously released such titles as Snakehead, Night Raiders, Betrayed, Big Gold Brick, Margrete: Queen of the North and Last Film Show.
Andrea Iervolino founded the global production company Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment S.p.A., which is active across film, television, digital and other areas, in Rome in 2011.
ILBE brokered the Dakota deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films via Fabio Varlese, David Tickle, Luca Matrundola, and Marco Crigna’s production, marketing and digital distribution company WWPS.tv.
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