Nollywood Actress & ‘Lionheart’ Director Genevieve Nnaji Inks With UTA

EXCLUSIVE: Lauded Nigerian actress and filmmaker Genevieve Nnaji has signed with UTA for representation in film, TV, and production. This comes after Nnaji’s directorial debut film, Lionheart, was picked up by Netflix prior to its TIFF premiere l…

EXCLUSIVE: Lauded Nigerian actress and filmmaker Genevieve Nnaji has signed with UTA for representation in film, TV, and production. This comes after Nnaji’s directorial debut film, Lionheart, was picked up by Netflix prior to its TIFF premiere last month. Nnaji also co-wrote and stars in the comedy that follows Adaeze who, in an effort to prove her worth in a male in a male-dominated industry, steps up to the run the family business when her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu…

Toronto 2018: Here’s Every Movie Sold So Far, From ‘Wild Rose’ to ‘Stan & Ollie’

Buyers are putting down their Momofuku cookies and handing over the cash, as film sales are in full swing at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Saban Films and Neon, who have made waves this past year by acquiring several titles at previous festivals, each secured deals, while usual players Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia, Focus Features and Netflix have also picked up some titles.

While “Wild Rose,” arguably one of the hottest titles for sale at TIFF, has been snatched up by Neon, there are still various hot films up for grabs. For example, Natalie Portman’s “Vox Lux” still has no distributor, neither does Elisabeth Moss’ “Her Smell.”

Also Read: Neon Acquires Buzzy Toronto Title ‘Wild Rose’

Additionally, many of TIFF’s biggest titles that are coming from immediate festival predecessors Venice and Telluride have distribution in place and are vying for awards attention: Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born,” Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Karyn Kusama and Nicole Kidman’s “Destroyer,” Robert Redford’s “The Old Man and the Gun,” Steve McQueen’s “Widows” and so on.

Here’s what’s been picked up in Toronto so far:

“Romans”

As one of the first acquisitions of the festival, Saban Films acquired the rights to the sexual abuse drama “Romans” starring Orlando Bloom.

Directed by Ludwig and Paul Shammasian, the film stars Bloom as a man struggling to cope with the sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of a priest, and who now has the opportunity to demolish the church where his abuse occurred.

Also Read: Magnolia Pictures Acquires Epic Foreign Sci-Fi ‘Aniara’

“Stan & Ollie”

Entertainment One’s “Stan & Ollie” was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for multiple territories including the United States.

Jon S. Baird directs from a script by Jeff Pope. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly star as the famed comedic duo, Laurel and Hardy.

“Wild Rose”

Neon, the indie distributor that has been making waves at festivals, landed the domestic rights to “Wild Rose,” arguably the hottest sales title at the festival this year.

The company, co-founded by Tom Quinn and Tim League, landed the finished film in a competitive situation, for roughly $4 million. The movie follows an aspiring country singer who wants to leave her humdrum life in Scotland for a Southern-fried adventure in Nashville.

Tom Harper directs from a script by writer Nicole Taylor. Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo and Julie Walters star.

“Lionheart”

Netflix acquired the global rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” on Saturday.

Nnaji, a notable Nigerian film star, plays an enterprising daughter competing with her crude and eccentric uncle to control her family business when her father falls ill.

“Greta”

Focus Features landed Neil Jordan’s thriller “Greta” following the film’s premiere at TIFF. It stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert and is described as a film about female obsession. Jordan wrote and directed the film.

There were several companies interested in “Greta,” but Focus Features’ deal gives the distributor rights for the film in North America, Australia and China. Universal, Focus’ parent company, already has a deal for the U.K.

“Maiden”

Sony Pictures Classics picked up North American rights to Alex Holmes’ “Maiden,” after the documentary’s world premiere at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.

“Maiden” tells the inspirational story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

Also Read: ‘First Man’ Gets Bigger and Bolder in Toronto IMAX Premiere

“Freaks”

Well Go USA landed the English language rights to “Freaks” for around $2 million at the festival. The film made its debut at the festival on Saturday and stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Lexy Kolker and Amanda Crew. It follows a girl who discovers a bizarre and threatening new world behind her front door after she escapes from her paranoid father.

Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein directed the psychological thriller from their script, and the distributor is planning a theatrical release for it.

“The Elephant Queen”

Apple acquired the global rights to the documentary feature film “The Elephant Queen,” directed by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning wildlife documentarians Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble.

The nature film follows Athena, an elephant matriarch who will go to any length to protect her family when they are forced to leave their waterhole to survive.

Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates the film, which was screened Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival.

“Teen Spirit”

Elle Fanning’s “Teen Spirit” was sold to producer and CEO and founder of LD Entertainment Mickey Liddell at the festival. The film is the directorial debut for “Handmaid’s Tale” actor Max Minghella, who also wrote the film’s script.

Liddell will partner with a distributor for “Teen Spirit.” A source familiar with the deal told TheWrap it was in the $8 million range, and bidding was competitive.

“Teen Spirit” follows Violet (Fanning), a shy teenager living in the Isle of Wight, who dreams of pop stardom as an escape from her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.

Also Read: Apple Picks Up Global Rights to Wildlife Documentary ‘Elephant Queen’

“Aniara” 

Magnolia Pictures acquired rights to distribute Swedish science fiction thriller “Aniara” after the film’s world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

“Aniara” is meant to present a panoramic view of the possible fate of  the human race after they have destroyed the planet. The film tells the story of one of the many spaceships used for transporting Earth’s fleeing population to their new home-planet, Mars. As the ship, Aniara, leaves the ruined Earth, she collides with space debris and is knocked off course. As the passengers slowly realize that they’ll never be able to return, they continue onwards through an empty and cold universe. In Aniara’s inexorable journey towards destruction there is a warning that cannot be emphasized enough: there’s only one Earth.

“Divide and Conquer”

Magnolia Pictures landed the North American theatrical rights to A&E IndieFilms’ “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” at TIFF. Magnolia is planning a Dec. 7 theatrical release date, and A&E will release the film on TV following its theatrical run.

The film, described as “no-holds-barred,” was directed by Alexis Bloom (“Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds”), who produced alongside Will Cohen of Jigsaw Productions.

“Gloria Bell”

Julianne Moore’s “Gloria Bell” was acquired by A24 ahead of the festival. Sebastian Lelio’s newest film also stars John Turturro, Brad Garrett, Rita Wilson and Michael Cera. Written and directed by Lelio, “Gloria Bell” is a remake of his 2013 breakout Chilean feature of the same name.

The film follows Gloria (Moore), a free-spirited divorcee who spends her days at her office job and her nights on the dance floor. When she meets Arnold (Turturro), she finds herself in the midst of an unexpected romance.

Lastly… “Knives Out”

It’s not a movie yet, sure, but Daniel Craig and Rian Johnson’s murder mystery package “Knives Out” sold to MRC at the festival.

Rian Johnson wrote the script with his producing partner Ram Bergman, and will direct the film that is now fully financed.

The film is described as a modern-day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style infused with Johnson’s original voice that informed films from “Brick” to “Looper.”  Daniel Craig will star as a detective assigned to solve the crime.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Toronto So Far: ‘First Man’ and ‘A Star Is Born’ Lead a Crop of Films With Heart and Dazzle

Will Oscar Season’s Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

Toronto Film Festival Market: Will Streaming Giants Spend Big Again and 5 Other Things to Watch

Buyers are putting down their Momofuku cookies and handing over the cash, as film sales are in full swing at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Saban Films and Neon, who have made waves this past year by acquiring several titles at previous festivals, each secured deals, while usual players Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia, Focus Features and Netflix have also picked up some titles.

While “Wild Rose,” arguably one of the hottest titles for sale at TIFF, has been snatched up by Neon, there are still various hot films up for grabs. For example, Natalie Portman’s “Vox Lux” still has no distributor, neither does Elisabeth Moss’ “Her Smell.”

Additionally, many of TIFF’s biggest titles that are coming from immediate festival predecessors Venice and Telluride have distribution in place and are vying for awards attention: Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born,” Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Karyn Kusama and Nicole Kidman’s “Destroyer,” Robert Redford’s “The Old Man and the Gun,” Steve McQueen’s “Widows” and so on.

Here’s what’s been picked up in Toronto so far:

“Romans”

As one of the first acquisitions of the festival, Saban Films acquired the rights to the sexual abuse drama “Romans” starring Orlando Bloom.

Directed by Ludwig and Paul Shammasian, the film stars Bloom as a man struggling to cope with the sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of a priest, and who now has the opportunity to demolish the church where his abuse occurred.

“Stan & Ollie”

Entertainment One’s “Stan & Ollie” was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for multiple territories including the United States.

Jon S. Baird directs from a script by Jeff Pope. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly star as the famed comedic duo, Laurel and Hardy.

“Wild Rose”

Neon, the indie distributor that has been making waves at festivals, landed the domestic rights to “Wild Rose,” arguably the hottest sales title at the festival this year.

The company, co-founded by Tom Quinn and Tim League, landed the finished film in a competitive situation, for roughly $4 million. The movie follows an aspiring country singer who wants to leave her humdrum life in Scotland for a Southern-fried adventure in Nashville.

Tom Harper directs from a script by writer Nicole Taylor. Jessie Buckley, Sophie Okonedo and Julie Walters star.

“Lionheart”

Netflix acquired the global rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” on Saturday.

Nnaji, a notable Nigerian film star, plays an enterprising daughter competing with her crude and eccentric uncle to control her family business when her father falls ill.

“Greta”

Focus Features landed Neil Jordan’s thriller “Greta” following the film’s premiere at TIFF. It stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert and is described as a film about female obsession. Jordan wrote and directed the film.

There were several companies interested in “Greta,” but Focus Features’ deal gives the distributor rights for the film in North America, Australia and China. Universal, Focus’ parent company, already has a deal for the U.K.

“Maiden”

Sony Pictures Classics picked up North American rights to Alex Holmes’ “Maiden,” after the documentary’s world premiere at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.

“Maiden” tells the inspirational story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989.

“Freaks”

Well Go USA landed the English language rights to “Freaks” for around $2 million at the festival. The film made its debut at the festival on Saturday and stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Lexy Kolker and Amanda Crew. It follows a girl who discovers a bizarre and threatening new world behind her front door after she escapes from her paranoid father.

Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein directed the psychological thriller from their script, and the distributor is planning a theatrical release for it.

“The Elephant Queen”

Apple acquired the global rights to the documentary feature film “The Elephant Queen,” directed by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning wildlife documentarians Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble.

The nature film follows Athena, an elephant matriarch who will go to any length to protect her family when they are forced to leave their waterhole to survive.

Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates the film, which was screened Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival.

“Teen Spirit”

Elle Fanning’s “Teen Spirit” was sold to producer and CEO and founder of LD Entertainment Mickey Liddell at the festival. The film is the directorial debut for “Handmaid’s Tale” actor Max Minghella, who also wrote the film’s script.

Liddell will partner with a distributor for “Teen Spirit.” A source familiar with the deal told TheWrap it was in the $8 million range, and bidding was competitive.

“Teen Spirit” follows Violet (Fanning), a shy teenager living in the Isle of Wight, who dreams of pop stardom as an escape from her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.

“Aniara” 

Magnolia Pictures acquired rights to distribute Swedish science fiction thriller “Aniara” after the film’s world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

“Aniara” is meant to present a panoramic view of the possible fate of  the human race after they have destroyed the planet. The film tells the story of one of the many spaceships used for transporting Earth’s fleeing population to their new home-planet, Mars. As the ship, Aniara, leaves the ruined Earth, she collides with space debris and is knocked off course. As the passengers slowly realize that they’ll never be able to return, they continue onwards through an empty and cold universe. In Aniara’s inexorable journey towards destruction there is a warning that cannot be emphasized enough: there’s only one Earth.

“Divide and Conquer”

Magnolia Pictures landed the North American theatrical rights to A&E IndieFilms’ “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” at TIFF. Magnolia is planning a Dec. 7 theatrical release date, and A&E will release the film on TV following its theatrical run.

The film, described as “no-holds-barred,” was directed by Alexis Bloom (“Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds”), who produced alongside Will Cohen of Jigsaw Productions.

“Gloria Bell”

Julianne Moore’s “Gloria Bell” was acquired by A24 ahead of the festival. Sebastian Lelio’s newest film also stars John Turturro, Brad Garrett, Rita Wilson and Michael Cera. Written and directed by Lelio, “Gloria Bell” is a remake of his 2013 breakout Chilean feature of the same name.

The film follows Gloria (Moore), a free-spirited divorcee who spends her days at her office job and her nights on the dance floor. When she meets Arnold (Turturro), she finds herself in the midst of an unexpected romance.

Lastly… “Knives Out”

It’s not a movie yet, sure, but Daniel Craig and Rian Johnson’s murder mystery package “Knives Out” sold to MRC at the festival.

Rian Johnson wrote the script with his producing partner Ram Bergman, and will direct the film that is now fully financed.

The film is described as a modern-day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style infused with Johnson’s original voice that informed films from “Brick” to “Looper.”  Daniel Craig will star as a detective assigned to solve the crime.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Toronto So Far: 'First Man' and 'A Star Is Born' Lead a Crop of Films With Heart and Dazzle

Will Oscar Season's Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

Toronto Film Festival Market: Will Streaming Giants Spend Big Again and 5 Other Things to Watch

Netflix Acquires Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ in Worldwide Deal

Netflix has acquired the rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” out of the Toronto International Film Festival.

The global rights deal comes ahead of the film’s Saturday premiere.

Nnaji, a notable Nigerian film star, plays an enterprising daughter competing with her crude and eccentric uncle to control her family business when her father falls ill.

Also Read: Saban Films Picks Up U.S. Rights to Orlando Bloom’s ‘Romans’

The film was produced by The Entertainment Network. The sale was brokered by MPM Premium, and represents the first ever Nigerian sale to Netflix.

The full “Lionheart” synopsis:

Running a company can be challenging, especially if you are a female in a male-dominated industry. Looking to prove her worth, Adaeze steps up to the challenge when her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu is forced to take a step back due to health issues. Ironically, he appoints his crude and eccentric brother, Godswill, instead to run the company with his young daughter. Complications arise when they discover that the family business is in dire financial straits and both Adaeze and Godswill try to save the company in their own way to crazy and often hilarious results.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Will Oscar Season’s Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

Toronto Film Festival Market: Will Streaming Giants Spend Big Again and 5 Other Things to Watch

12 Hottest Toronto Movies for Sale, From ‘Wild Rose’ to ‘Vox Lux’ (Photos)

Netflix has acquired the rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” out of the Toronto International Film Festival.

The global rights deal comes ahead of the film’s Saturday premiere.

Nnaji, a notable Nigerian film star, plays an enterprising daughter competing with her crude and eccentric uncle to control her family business when her father falls ill.

The film was produced by The Entertainment Network. The sale was brokered by MPM Premium, and represents the first ever Nigerian sale to Netflix.

The full “Lionheart” synopsis:

Running a company can be challenging, especially if you are a female in a male-dominated industry. Looking to prove her worth, Adaeze steps up to the challenge when her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu is forced to take a step back due to health issues. Ironically, he appoints his crude and eccentric brother, Godswill, instead to run the company with his young daughter. Complications arise when they discover that the family business is in dire financial straits and both Adaeze and Godswill try to save the company in their own way to crazy and often hilarious results.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Will Oscar Season's Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

Toronto Film Festival Market: Will Streaming Giants Spend Big Again and 5 Other Things to Watch

12 Hottest Toronto Movies for Sale, From 'Wild Rose' to 'Vox Lux' (Photos)

First Look at Trailer for Genevieve Nnaji’s Toronto Film ‘Lionheart’

Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for “Lionheart,” the directorial debut of actress Genevieve Nnaji, which plays in the Discovery section of Toronto Intl. Film Festival. Paris-based MPM Premiere has picked up the Nigerian film for …

Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for “Lionheart,” the directorial debut of actress Genevieve Nnaji, which plays in the Discovery section of Toronto Intl. Film Festival. Paris-based MPM Premiere has picked up the Nigerian film for international sales. Set in Southeast Nigeria, “Lionheart” tells the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu […]