Park City, UT (January 21, 2013) -- In its first purchase of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) today picked up worldwide rights to AUSTENLAND with Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) to domestically distribute the film. The film played to exuberant sold-out crowds in Park City since its Eccles premiere last Friday. The deal was negotiated by SPWA's Michael Helfand (Executive Vice President, Business Affairs), Joe Matukewicz (Senior Vice President, Acquisitions) and Jon Freedberg (Vice President, Business Development) with UTA Independent Film Group co-head Rena Ronson and Jim Meenaghan and Irwin M. Rappaport on behalf of the filmmakers.
Produced by Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer in association with Moxie Pictures, AUSTENLAND stars Keri Russell (Waitress), who plays a woman obsessed with the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice and travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentlemen. Rounding out the cast are Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, JJ Feild and Bret McKenzie.
AUSTENLAND marks the directorial debut for Jerusha Hess (co-writer, Napoleon Dynamite), who also serves as writer on the project along with Shannon Hale, whose novel of the same name provided the basis for the screenplay.
In a statement from Sony Pictures Classics, “We love this movie. It announces the birth of a major filmmaker and Stephenie Meyer is truly a force of nature. We look forward to bringing AUSTENLAND to American audiences.”
“We loved making this movie and were fortunate enough to screen it at Sundance," said producer Stephenie Meyer and director Jerusha Hess in a joint statement. "The fact that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Sony Pictures Classics has chosen to distribute Austenland is beyond our wildest dreams – they treat their films with the utmost care, and we are thrilled to be associated with such a prestigious distributor.”
Stephenie Meyer and Jerusha Hess are represented at UTA.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE ACQUISITIONS
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. SPE is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 159 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.