Samuel Goldwyn & Orion Acquire SXSW Pic ‘Maya Dardel’


Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films have teamed for their second pickup of a SXSW film this week, acquiring North American rights to Maya Dardel, the drama co-written and co-directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak and starring Lena Olin. It bowed in Austin this year under the title A Critically Endangered Species.

Olin stars as Maya Dardel, an internationally respected poet and novelist who lived until 2016 in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. That’s when she announces on National Public Radio that she intends to end her life and that young male writers may compete to become the executor of her estate. They are challenged intellectually, emotionally and erotically, until one of them begins to fathom Maya’s end game. Alexander Koch, Nathan Keyes, Jordan Gavaris, Chris Voss and Rosanna Arquette co-star.

Mike S. Ryan, Morgan Jon Fox, Dariusz Jabłoński, Violetta Kamińska and Izabela Wójcik produced, and Craig R. Johnson is executive producer.

The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn on behalf of Samuel Goldwyn, which on Monday acquired the SXSW pic Most Beautiful Island. Bill Straus of Bridge Independent made the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

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