Marking the largest acquisition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival so far, the indie studio buys the Ben Lewin film after defeating some other high-profile bidders, including The Weinstein Company.
"The Surrogate", a drama based on a true story directed by Ben Lewin, has found its distributor at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film has been sold to Fox Searchlight on Monday, January 23. The studio acquired the movie for $6 million, making it the largest buying at the annual festival so far.
That was Fox Searchlight's first acquisition at this year's festival. The studio has won the bidding war from other high-profile bidders, including The Weinstein Company. During last year's Sundance, the indie studio bought the rights to several well-reviewed movies, including "Martha Marcy May Marlene".
Writen and directed by Lewin, "The Surrogate" tells the true story of poet/journalist Mark O' Brien who, after spending most of his life with an iron lung as a result of polio, decides to explore his sexuality. He hires a sex surrogate and soon develops a relationship that changes both of their lives. The movie stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt.
In addition to "Surrogate", Fox Searchlight is finalizing the negotiation to buy another film, "Beasts of the Southern Wild". The film, which was screened last Friday, January 20, won the Sundance Institute's Indian Paintbrush Producer's Award. Directed and co-written by Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts" has become one of the most talked-about films at the festival and has appealed to some top bidders.