Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Sundance Record Broken as “CODA,” Film About Singing Teen from Deaf Family, Breaks Record with $25 Mil Sale


Apple has gotten to the core of Sundance.

The computer/phone company with a burgeoning film firm broke the Sundance record today. They bought “CODA” for $25 million.

They broke last year’s record of $22.5 million for “Palm Springs” bought by Neon and Hulu.

I told you in my review that “CODA” was big. Directed by Sian Heder and based on a French film, “CODA” stands for Child of Deaf Adults. In this case, the child is 18 year old British actress and singer Emilia Jones, who plays a teen who can sing like a bird. Only problem is her parents and brother are deaf, and can’t hear her.

Heder set her version among fishermen in Glouchester, Mass., and this gives the film a lot richness and texture. Luckily, she shied away from having a lot Boston accents. But the warmth of the characters and the situation– of course, the girl joins the high school choir, is discovered to be a phenom, and tries out for Berklee School of Music– add up to a home run of a film that everyone will enjoy.

Co-stars in the film include Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, and 21 year old Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, of “Sing Street” fame. “CODA” will be a major player in 2022 awards season, if we ever finish the 2021 awards season. I do hope Apple puts this film in theaters and doesn’t just relegate it to TV screens and computers. It deserves a big setting.

I can’t wait to see who picks up the soundtrack, and who signs these kids to record contracts.

PS You have to realize how Apple, Amazon, and Netflix have so changed the way deals are done now at places like Sundance. Those companies have unlimited cash. Plunking down $25 million is pocket change for them. It’s very different than when Miramax, or Fine Line, etc– the O.G. indie film companies– battled to get product. They were sweating it. Very new world we have here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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