The film, presented by Bron Creative and Topic Studios, is a haunting father-daughter story featuring Ben Foster and newcomer Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie.
Based on Peter Rock’s novel My Abandonment, Leave No Trace revolves around a teenage girl (Harcourt McKenzie) and her father (Foster) who have lived undetected for years in Forest Park, a vast woods on the edge of Portland, Oregon. A chance encounter leads to their discovery and removal from the park and into the charge of a social service agency. They try to adapt to their new surroundings, until a sudden decision sets them on a perilous journey into the wilderness seeking complete independence and forcing them to confront their conflicting desire to be part of a community and fierce need to live apart. Granik and Oscar nominee Anne Rosellini wrote the screenplay.
The deal excludes North American rights, which are expected to close quickly following the film’s rave reviews after its world premiere Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter‘s review called Leave No Trace “quietly wrenching” and said Granik “doesn’t approach her marginalized characters as objects of curiosity or comedy, derision or pity; she comes at them straight-on, with clear-eyed, unsentimental compassion.”
Heading into the festival, the film was a hot commodity, given that Granik’s 2010 film Winter’s Bone garnered four Oscar nominations, including best picture.
Anne Harrison (The Danish Girl), Linda Reisman (Affliction) and Rosellini (Winter’s Bone) produced the pic, while Topic Studios’ Michael Bloom and Adam Pincus executive produced alongside Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth and Andy Pollack.
“This movie has been such an extraordinary part of my life for so long,” said Granik. “I’m so grateful to Sony for making it possible for this film to circulate and create a dialogue with storytellers and film lovers around the world.”
The Leave No Trace deal marks the second of this year’s Sundance fest for SPWA, which snapped up all international rights to the crowd-pleasing music dramedy Hearts Beat Loud on Friday.
Endeavor Content and Bron’s Adam Davids and Anjay Nagpal negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, while SPWA’s Joe Matukewicz, Michael Helfand and Jon Freedberg negotiated on behalf of Sony.