Gay-themed romance won festival’s Emerging Visions Audience Award
Andrew Haigh's "Weekend" has become the latest film to sell at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, with Sundance Selects picking up North American rights to the gay romance, which won the SXSW Emerging Visions Audience Award.
"Weekend," which stars Tom Cullen and Chris New, is the second feature for Haigh, a former editor whose films in that capacity include Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down." It details a short affair between two young men, one hesitant about coming out and the other freer and more liberal.
“'Weekend' depicts a fleeting romantic encounter with delicacy and philosophical depth, but its chief appeal is simplicity," wrote critic Eric Kohn at indieWIRE. " … Humming along on the commitment of its engaging leads, [the film] builds into a powerful encapsulation of an identity crisis over the course of three passionate days."
The film premiered at SXSW over the weekend and won the festival's audience award in the Emerging Visions section, which consisted of 19 films from "new and emerging" filmmakers. Other films in the section included the well-received "The Dish and the Spoon" and "Green."
"We were completely moved by … 'Weekend,' a universal story about the perils and joys of falling in love," said Sundance Selects president Jonathan Sehring in the press release announcing the acquisition. "It was one of the most exciting films we saw at this year's festival."
Sundance Selects also acquired broadcast and digital rights to the film in France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece and East-Central Europe.
Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Jeff Deutchman for Sundance Selects, and the Film Collaborative's Orly Ravid for the filmmakers.