Cannes 2012: Music Box Picks up ‘Starlet’ for North America

Sean Baker’s drama stars Dree Hemingway who starts an unlikely friendship with a caustic elderly lady.


CANNES: U.S. indie distributor Music Box Films has picked up all North American rights to Sean Baker’s South by Southwest buzz title Starlet. Music Box plans to release Starlet theatrically this fall.

The drama stars Dree Hemingway as the 21-year-old Jane who starts an unlikely friendship with Sadie, a caustic elderly lady. The two women meet, and fight, at Sadie’s yard sale. But a slow friendship develops after Jane discovers a secret stash of money hidden inside a relic from Sadie’s past. She befriends the older woman and slowly, secrets from her past emerge. Sadie is played by the 85-year-old Besedka Johnson, who made her on-screen debut with the film and won special recognition from the SXSW jury for her performance

Sean Baker’s previous films include the Spirit Award nominees Prince of Broadway and Take Out.

Starletwas produced by Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Francesca Silvestri, Patrick Cunningham and Chris Maybach. The film’s executive producers include Ted Hope, Shih-Ching Tsou, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim, Giancarlo Canavesio and Sol Tryon.

“Although we didn’t make the connections until after we saw Starlet, we’ve enjoyed everything Sean Baker has done from Greg the Bunny through Prince of Broadway, so in retrospect its not surprising we fell for Starlet,” said Music Box Films managing director Ed Arentz. “As we branch out into American independent releases its exciting to be presenting one of its best young exemplars.

The Music Box deal was negotiated by Josh Braun at Submarine with Music Box Films president William Schopf.