EXCLUSIVE: A24 is near to closing what sources said is a $6 milion deal for worldwide rights excluding China on The Farewell, the Lulu Wang-directed comedy that stars Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, and Diana Lin.
A Chinese family discovers that their beloved grandmother has a short time to live. They don’t tell her, but instead stage a wedding so the family can gather before she expires. The film has been a buzz titles since it premiered Friday at Eccles. It is in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category.
What buyers were saying is that while there are subtitles in the film, and it is not as glossy as Crazy Rich Asians, it is similar to that film in that it tells a genuine story infused in Chinese culture, one that has breakout potential. Wang wrote the script and based it on an event that actually happened in her own life.
Endeavor Content is brokering the sale with UTA Independent. UTA reps Wang and Awkwafina.
This becomes the fourth buzzy deal for A24, though it is the first flat out big acquisition. A24 brokered deals with HBO for two films it previously acquired: there was an 8-figure deal for a modern telling of Native Son, directed by Rashid Johnson, and then there was a seven figure deal for the Pippa Bianco-directed Share. Both will air on HBO.
The other deal it made was to secure a sequel to the Joanna Hogg-directed Souvenir, a film which premieres tonight in Sundance. So a busy festival for the disruptively nimble distributor.