Fox Searchlight Pictures is walking away from Sundance with two of the festival’s hottest titles. First, the company bought rights to the highly praised narrative film Patti Cake$ for $10.5 million. Last night, they picked up possibly the festival’s most adored documentary, Step, in a $5 million deal, according to Deadline.
The Amanda Lipitz-direct doc centers on The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and their step dance team. The school was created back in 2009 with the mission statement of guaranteeing every student a chance to go to college despite roadblocks at home or in their community. The film picks up in the first class’ senior year as they deal with the challenges of college applications, their parents, a tough college counselor, and rigorous step training for their team the “Lethal Ladies.”
Fox Searchlight is not known for purchasing documentaries, but it is of note that the distributors also bought remake rights to the film as well, so viewers can likely expect to see a feature film version or a theater production in the future (director Lipitz is also a Broadway producer). According to Lipitz, the filmmakers “allowed for proceeds from the sale to go towards scholarships for each of the 19 girls on the step team that came to Sundance as well as a generous donation to the school so that it can continue to transform Baltimore one young woman at a time.”
Fox Searchlight is planning a major theatrical showing for the film which likely means an awards push as well.