Topic Studios Signs First-Look Deal With The Population

Topic Studios has entered a first-look deal with Mynette Louie, Mollye Asher, and Derek Nguyen’s The Population, the production company behind I Carry You with Me and Swallow. The multi-faceted deal covers all media and includes film, television, non-fiction and podcasts.

Topic Studios’ new partnership with The Population expands the relationship with Emmy-nominated Louie. They are currently collaborating on a scripted limited drama series for television. The deal comes as The Population continues to bolster diversity and, at the same time, ramp up for awards season including Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures) produced by Asher. In addition, The Population is putting some shine their first two films, the aforementioned I Carry You With Me (Sony Pictures Classics) from director Heidi Ewing and Swallow (IFC Films) from director Carlo Mirabella-Davis. They are currently in post-production on Josef Kubota Wladyka’s action-thriller Catch the Fair One.

“Topic Studios has a great track record of working with top talent across multiple formats and successfully supporting creators as they explore new mediums,” said Maria Zuckerman, EVP, Topic Studios. “In this spirit, we couldn’t be more excited and thrilled to collaborate with the gifted storytellers of The Population. We look forward to partnering with the accomplished trio of Mynette Louie, Mollye Asher, and Derek Nguyen to bring many very special projects to life.”

“We love that Topic Studios, as an independent studio, has the capacity to pivot and innovate, which is more important now than ever,” said Louie, Asher, and Nguyen in a joint statement. “This flexibility, plus Topic Studios’ dedication to supporting creators’ visions no matter the genre or format, make them the perfect partner for The Population.”

Earlier this year, Topic Studios had seven projects at the Sundance Film Festival, including the ACLU documentary The Fight (Magnolia/Topic Studios), Kevin Macdonald’s upcoming legal thriller The Mauritanian (STX Films), as well as Cannes-winner The Climb (Sony Pictures Classics), which was recently released. Up next is Daniel Antebi’s pandemic comedy God’s Time, produced by The Climb filmmakers’ shingle Watch This Ready, with whom the entertainment studio has a first-look deal.

On the TV side, Topic Studios has set up two premium dramas from a previous first-look deal with Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), including the thriller Savannah with PKM Productions for Amazon Studios, which Deadline exclusively reported. Topic Studios is also developing an English-language adaptation of the critically acclaimed Israeli comedy, Nehama, among other projects.

Before launching The Population, Louie, Asher and Nguyen worked together at the women director-focused film fund Gamechanger Films, which Louie ran. Collectively, they have worked with over 75 directors and produced over 30 feature films. Asher worked with Zhao on her film The Rider as well as Fort Tilden, and She’s Lost Control. Louie’s credits include Black Box, The Tale, The Invitation and Land Ho!. Nguyen is currently producing Grave Hill, an American adaptation of his CJ Entertainment-produced Vietnamese horror The Housemaid, which he wrote and directed, and is developing his scripted crime thriller podcast Burning Bayou with Starfish Accelerator.

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