2023 Fall Festival Acquisitions (So Far), from Venice to Toronto
ManOfTheCenturyMovie News 2023 Fall Festival Acquisitions (So Far), from Venice to Toronto

2023 Fall Festival Acquisitions (So Far), from Venice to Toronto



2023 Fall Festival Acquisitions (So Far), from Venice to Toronto

The ongoing actors and writers strikes means that fewer movies are coming to the festivals with distribution in hand as a result of studios pulling back some of their titles and festival programmers making a point to prioritize independent films. It also means that many movies may have a harder time finding distribution if they don’t have actors there to promote them or if bigger AMPTP-affiliated distributors get cold feet.

But there’s still expected to be a market out of Venice, Toronto, and Telluride, even if those movies don’t sell during the festivals (very little did last year) or get released in 2023 (that’s not common generally, but even less so this year with the strikes). Some of these even have interim agreements that will allow them to promote.

Below are the movies that already have homes.

Movies Acquired After Lineups Announced

“Infested” (Previously “Vermin”)
Section:
Venice Out of Competition
Distributor: Shudder
Date Acquired: August 24

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Sébastien Vanicek directed and co-wrote this French horror debut feature about a venomous spider that escapes and multiplies, trapping its unsuspecting new owner. Théo Christine, Finnegan Oldfield, Jérôme Niel, Sofia Lesaffre, and Lisa Nyarko star in the film.

Shudder will release “Infested” on its streaming service in 2024 following a competition slot at Fantastic Fest later this year. The deal was negotiated by Charades and WTFilms on behalf of the filmmakers and Emily Gotto on behalf of Shudder.

“Housekeeping for Beginners”
Section:
Venice Horizons
Distributor: Focus Features
Date Acquired: August 15

Goran Stolevski directs this film about a woman reluctantly forced to raise her girlfriend’s two daughters, a young troublemaker and a rebellious teenager, butting heads and becoming an unlikely family along the way. The film stars Anamaria Marinca, Alina Serban, Samson Selim, Vladimir Tintor, Mia Mustafa, Dzada Selim, Sara Klimoska, Rozafë Çelaj, and Ajse Useini.

No release plans have been set. The deal was negotiated by Jan Naszewski and Katarzyna Siniarska on behalf of New Europe Film Sales

“Evil Does Not Exist”
Section:
Venice Competition/TIFF Special Presentation
Distributor: Janus Films and Sideshow

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s follow-up to “Drive My Car” landed with the same distributors that launched that film to a Best Picture nomination. It will be released in 2023 following a festival run but does not have a release date.

“Evil Does Not Exist” follows a glamping community that sets up in a small village outside Tokyo, causing unrest among the locals and impacting the town’s ecological balance. The film stars Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa, Ryuji Kosaka, and Ayaka Shibutani.

“Riddle of Fire”
Section:
TIFF Midnight Madness
Distributor: Yellow Veil Pictures and Vinegar Syndrome
Date Acquired: August 7

Originally debuting at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, “Riddle of Fire” is an adventure film following mischievous children as they embark on an odyssey when their mother asks them to run an errand. Director Weston Razooli shot the film on 16mm.

“Riddle of Fire” will be released theatrically in early 2024 with a 35mm print touring several cities, and the distributors aim to release other merchandise and board games tied to the film.

The deal was negotiated by Hugues Barbier, Justin Timms, and Joe Yanick on behalf of Yellow Veil Pictures and Justin LaLiberty on behalf of Vinegar Syndrome with Shane Kelly, Mister Smith’s Vice President, International Sales & Distribution, on behalf of Mister Smith Entertainment and the filmmakers.

Movies Arriving with Distribution in Place

(Editors note: The below are movies making world premieres at Venice, Telluride, and/or TIFF.)

Adam Driver in
Adam Driver in “Ferrari”Neon

“Ferrari”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: Neon

Michael Mann’s biopic of the famed car designer Enzo Ferrari stars Adam Driver, Penelopé Cruz, and Shailene Woodley. Neon acquired it in June, and the film already trotted out cast to Venice along with an interim agreement.

“El Conde”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: Netflix

Pablo Larrain directs this (literally) biting, gothic satire that imagines Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet as a blood-sucking vampire. The film launches on Netflix September 15 after a brief theatrical run one week earlier.

“The Killer”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: Netflix

David Fincher’s thriller stars Michael Fassbender as a hitman having a psychological crisis. Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell, Arliss Howard, and Sophie Charlotte also star. The film launches on Netflix November 10 and in theaters October 27.

“Maestro”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: Netflix

Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic that he directed and starred in (prosthetic nose and all) figures to be a major Oscar contender. It opens on Netflix December 20 and in theaters November 22.

Poor Things
“Poor Things”Courtesy Searchlight Pictures

“Poor Things”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: Searchlight Pictures

Yorgos Lanthimos’ blend of romance and sci-fi stars Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, and Ramy Youssef. It hits theaters December 8.

“Priscilla”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: A24

Sofia Coppola directs this biopic focused on Elvis’ wife, with Cailee Spaney as Priscilla Presley and Jacob Elordi as The King. It opens October 6.

“The Promised Land”
Section:
Venice Competition
Distributor: Magnolia

Nikolaj Arcel’s historical epic about a Danish conqueror fighting the elements stars Mads Mikkelsen.

“The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial”
Section:
Venice Out of Competition
Distributor: Republic Pictures/Paramount Global Content Distribution

What is now William Friedkin’s final film stars Kiefer Sutherland and is a new take on “The Caine Mutiny” military courtroom drama that originally starred Humphrey Bogart.

“Gasoline Rainbow”
Section:
Venice Horizons
Distributor: MUBI

The “Bloody Notes, Empty Pockets” team comes to Venice with another genre-bending documentary blended with more surreal elements as a group of small-town Oregon teenagers embark on a journey across the American West to reach “The Party at the End of the World” over 500 miles away. MUBI is planning a 2024 theatrical release.

2023 Fall Festival Acquisitions So Far from Venice to Toronto | ManOfTheCenturyMovie
“Fingernails” Apple

“Fingernails”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: Apple TV+

“The Bear’s” Jeremy Allen White, Riz Ahmed, and Jessie Buckley star in this sci-fi romance from director Christos Nikou. It opens November 3.

“High & Low: John Galliano”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: MUBI

Acquired out of the Cannes market, Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland”) directs this documentary about fashion designer John Galliano, whose career was derailed after being caught using anti-semitic slurs.

“The Holdovers”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: Focus Features

Alexander Payne’s reunion with Paul Giamatti screened only in secret at last year’s TIFF and was the largest sale by far, selling to Focus Features for $30 million. It opens in theaters November 10.

“Janet Planet”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: A24

Director-writer Annie Baker makes her debut with this drama about 11-year-old Lacy, her mother Janet, and the three people who come into their lives over one summer in 1991 in Western Massachusetts.

“Nyad”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: Netflix

Annette Bening stars as world-class swimmer Diane Nyad, who aimed to become the first person to swim between Florida and Cuba without the aid of a shark cage, all at age 60. The film is directed by “Free Solo” directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

“The Royal Hotel”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: Neon

Kitty Green’s latest reunites her with Julia Garner for a thriller about backpackers in Australia confronted with a group of unruly locals and a dangerous situation gone wrong.

“Rustin”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: Netflix

Colman Domingo stars in George C. Wolfe’s biopic on the life of Bayard Rustin, an activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington during the Civil Rights movement. It opens in theaters November 3 and on Netflix November 17.

Barry Keoghan in
Barry Keoghan in “Saltburn”Amazon

“Saltburn”
Section:
Telluride
Distributor: Amazon/MGM

Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi star in Emerald Fennell’s follow-up to “Promising Young Woman,” a decadent commentary on the upper class lifestyle. It opens in theaters November 24.

“The Boy and the Heron”
Section:
TIFF Gala Presentations
Distributor: GKIDS

Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki directs what is likely his final film about a teenage boy who enters a magical world and encounters a talking gray heron.

“Dumb Money”
Section:
TIFF Gala Presentations
Distributor: Sony

Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya”) directs the true story of how amateur investors on Reddit bested Wall Street and turned GameStop into a “meme stock.” Paul Dano leads the cast, and the film opens in theaters October 6.

“Finestkind”
Section:
TIFF Gala Presentations
Distributor: Paramount+

“Finestkind” stars Ben Foster and Toby Wallace as estranged brothers who hatch a deal with a Boston crime syndicate after their debts begin to pile up. Tommy Lee Jones and Jenna Ortega also star in Brian Helgeland’s crime drama.

“Sly”
Section:
TIFF Gala Presentations
Distributor: Netflix

Sylvester Stallone gets his own biographical documentary from director Thom Zimny. It hits Netflix November 3.

“American Fiction”
Section:
TIFF Special Presentations
Distributor: Amazon/MGM

Based on the novel “Erasure” by Percival Everett, Jeffrey Wright stars in Cord Jefferson’s satire as an author who finds wild success writing a book based on every Black cliché he can think of.

“The Burial”
Section:
TIFF Special Presentations
Distributor: Amazon/MGM

Tommy Lee Jones and Jamie Foxx star in this courtroom drama from director Maggie Betts that is based on a true story.

1693594442 899 2023 Fall Festival Acquisitions So Far from Venice to Toronto | ManOfTheCenturyMovie
“Next Goal Wins” Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Searchlight Pictures

“Next Goal Wins”
Section:
TIFF Special Presentations
Distributor: Searchlight Pictures

Taika Waititi’s long-awaited dramedy stars Michael Fassbender as the new coach of a hopeless American Samoa soccer team that famously lost a match 31-0.

“Pain Hustlers”
Section:
TIFF Special Presentations
Distributor: Netflix

Emily Blunt and Chris Evans star in this film from David Yates about a bankrupt pharmacist who gets entangled in a criminal conspiracy.

“Quiz Lady”
Section:
TIFF Special Presentations
Distributor: Hulu

Awkwafina and Sandra Oh star as sisters who have to pay off their mother’s gambling debts by going on a quiz game show. Jessica Yu directs the film that also stars Will Ferrell and Jason Schwartzman.

“Reptile”
Section:
TIFF Special Presentations
Distributor: Netflix

Benicio Del Toro, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Silverstone star in this noir in which, Following the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, a hardened detective attempts to uncover the truth in a case where nothing is as it seems, and by doing so dismantles the illusions in his own life. It opens September 29 in theaters and October 6 on Netflix

“Irena’s Vow”
Section:
TIFF Centerpiece
Distributor: Quiver Distribution

“Irena’s Vow” is a Canadian and Polish Holocaust drama about a nurse forced to work under Nazi officers who manages to rescue over a dozen Jewish refugees. Sophie Nélisse stars.

“Silver Dollar Road”
Section:
TIFF Docs
Distributor: Amazon Studios

“I Am Not Your Negro” director Raoul Peck directs this latest documentary about a Black family in North Carolina that battles decades of harassment by land developers trying to seize their waterfront property.

“Stamped From the Beginning”
Section:
TIFF Docs
Distributor: Netflix

Roger Ross Williams‘ documentary brings to the screen Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s 2016 book about the influence of anti-Black racist ideas throughout American history. It hits Netflix November 15.

“Dream Scenario”
Section:
TIFF Platform
Distributor: A24

Kristoffer Borgli directs Nicolas Cage as a hapless family man who finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers start seeing him in their dreams. The film is an offbeat comedy and is produced by Ari Aster.

“Dicks: The Musical”
Section:
TIFF Midnight Madness
Distributor: A24

Larry Charles (“Seinfeld,” “Borat”) directs this “depraved” musical comedy that is a twist on “The Parent Trap.” It stars Megan Thee Stallion, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, and Bowen Yang as God.

“When Evil Lurks”
Section:
TIFF Midnight Madness
Distributor: Shudder

“When Evil Lurks” is a “rural possession thriller” directed by “Terrified” director Demian Rugna.

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