After an intense night of bidding, it looks like Fox Searchlight is going to be the front runner in the bid for Patti Cake$ at Sundance. Receiving resounding praise after its premiere, Fox Searchlight beat out Lionsgate and Neon as well as early contenders Amazon, Sony Pictures, and Annapurna. According to Deadline, there was an offer as high as $13 million, but the sellers, CAA and WME Global, will be closing a $10.5 million deal with Fox Searchlight, who has a successful history with off-the-wall indies like Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite. Being bought for about 10 times the film’s budget, this is another historic buy at the festival.
Fox Searchlight had remained mostly silent at the festival until now. Their last major Sundance acquisition was last year’s The Birth of a Nation, whose surrounding controversy in regards to director and star Nate Parker ultimately ruined the film’s distribution.
Patti Cake$ tells the story of the eponymous rapper, aka Patricia Dombrowski and Killa P, who makes her way through the world of New Jersey strip malls and strip clubs in order to make it big. Geremy Jasper wrote and directed the pic as his feature debut. The film stars Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, and Cathy Moriarty.