Drafthouse picks up Sundance hit “The Overnighters”

U.S. distributor Drafthouse Films has acquired North American theatrical and home video rights from The Film Sales Company for Jesse Moss's Sundance-winning doc The Overnighters (pictured).
March 31, 2014

U.S. distributor Drafthouse Films has acquired North American theatrical, home video, transactional and other rights from The Film Sales Company for Jesse Moss’s Sundance-winning doc The Overnighters (pictured).

The film follows events in Williston, North Dakota – a modern-day boomtown, which has become flooded with job-seekers as its hydraulic fracturing infrastructure and oil industry has rapidly expanded in recent years – through the eyes of Pastor Jay Reinke, who controversially opens up his church to allow job-seeking men to sleep on the floor.

After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won a U. S. Documentary Special Jury award for Intuitive Filmmaking, the doc went on to play at True/False Film Fest in Missouri, and will continue its festival run at the Full Frame, Tribeca and Hot Docs. Drafthouse is planning a theatrical release for later this year.

In a statement, Drafthouse founder Tim League said: “I have shown the film to a small group of friends and family. After each screening, a lengthy and heated discussion has arisen on the themes of the American dream, forgiveness, what it means to be a good person. We hope to take this spectacularly thought-provoking documentary all the way to the Oscars in 2015.”

The deal was negotiated by James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films, with CAA and Andrew Herwitz at Film Sales Company acting behalf of the filmmakers. Herwitz plans to make additional announcement about various foreign licenses to the film “in the coming days,” Drafthouse said.

  • Check out the March/April issue of realscreen magazine, out now, for an in-depth interview with Jesse Moss about the film. Not a subscriber? Click here for more information.
realscreen magazine, march/april 2014
About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.