Netflix, Amazon Continue Sundance Buying Spree With 'White Girl,' 'NUTS!' (Exclusive)
The two streaming giants have now snapped up seven films apiece from the festival.
The Sundance Film Festival ended more than two weeks ago, but Netflix and Amazon continue to buy. The two streaming giants have closed deals on the ground in Berlin at the European Film Market for a pair of splashy Sundance titles.
Netflix picked up worldwide SVOD rights to Elizabeth Wood's edgy drama White Girl. Starring Morgan Saylor (aka Dana Brody to fans of Homeland) in a breakout performance, the film centers on a hard-partying college girl who falls for a Puerto Rican drug dealer (Brian "Sene" Marc). When he gets arrested, she is left with a cache of cocaine. A source pegged the deal at seven figures.
Not to be outdone, Amazon's Prime division snapped up worldwide SVOD rights to Penny Lane's animated documentary NUTS! That film chronicles the stranger-than-fiction story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered that he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men.
Both White Girl and NUTS! will get a theatrical release from distributors to be determined.
Amazon and Netflix drove the sales agenda at Sundance, snapping up six films each before the festival ended Jan. 31 (among the highlights were Amazon's buy of Manchester by the Sea for $10 million and Netflix's acquisition of the Paul Rudd starrer The Fundamentals of Caring for nearly $7 million.) With NUTS! and White Girl, the two companies now each can boast seven films from Sundance. Surprisingly, neither company has bought any titles in Berlin — a festival that tends to offer more presales and promo footage than finished films, which is Sundance's bread and butter.
White Girl earned strong reviews following its world premiere Jan. 23. The film, which played in Sundance's U.S. Dramatic Competition section, marks Wood's feature directorial debut (she also wrote the screenplay). Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez and Adrian Martinez co-star. Gabriel Nussbaum produced White Girl, while Christine Vachon, Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman and David Hinojosa executive produced.
NUTS!, which played in Sundance's U.S. Documentary Competition, took home the Special Jury Award for Editing. Mixing hand-drawn animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage and a very unreliable narrator, the film traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth and influence. Along the way, he transplants thousands of goat testicles and amasses an enormous fortune. Written by Thom Stylinski, NUTS! was produced by James Belfer and Daniel Shepard of Cartuna along with Caitlin Mae Burke and Lane. Dan Cogan and Elias Savada executive produced. THR's Duane Byrge called the film "a blend of cornpone commentary and tongue-in-cheek exposition [that] is consistently very entertaining."
CAA repped the White Girl filmmakers. Submarine's principals Josh Braun, Dan Braun and David Koh negotiated on behalf of the NUTS! team.