Magnolia Pictures and Neon have each picked up documentaries at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, which wraps up on Sunday (Jan. 28).
New York-based film distributor Magnolia Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to Heather Lenz’s documentary on Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Kusama-Infinity, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Documentary Competition, is an intimate portrait of top-selling female artist Kusama.
Growing up in Japan during World War II, with a dysfunctional family that discouraged her creative ambitions, Kusama faced sexism and racism in the art establishment, as well as mental illness in a society where it was taboo. In spite of these challenges, Kusama created a legacy of artwork that spans multiple disciplines including painting, sculpture, installation art, performance art, poetry, and novels.
Kusama-Infinity was directed, written and produced by Lenz. Producers are Karen Johnson, David Koh and Dan Braun, while it was executive produced by Stanley Buchthal, Josh Braun, Ryan Brooks, Brandon Chen, Jessica Latham, Troy Craig Poon, Alice Koh, Simone Haggiag, and Hajime Inou. The film is co-produced by Anna Godas, Ryosuke Oka and Robert Profusek.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Magnolia Pictures by co-executive VP Dori Begley and SVP of acquisitions John Von Thaden. It was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Dan Braun, Josh Braun, Ben Braun, David Koh and Matt Burke of Submarine. International sales are being handled by Dogwoof.
Elsewhere, Neon has acquired the North American rights to the documentary Three Identical Strangers.
Directed by UK-based Raw prodco Tim Wardle, the film tells the story of how three strangers (pictured) made the discovery that at age 19 they were identical triplets separated at birth.
Three Identical Strangers was produced by CNN Films in association with UK pubcaster Channel 4.
The deal was negotiated with Neon by Josh Braun of Submarine and Stacey Wolf, VP of business affairs for CNN Worldwide, along with Matt Burke and Ben Braun of Submarine and Kelly MacLanahan, senior counsel, CNN Worldwide on behalf of CNN Films.
CNN Films will have U.S. broadcast distribution rights.