The Orchard has acquired all North American distribution rights to director Antonio Campos’ drama “Christine,” which stars Rebecca Hall as TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck, the company announced Thursday.
“Christine” recently premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, where it drew mostly positive reviews. The Orchard is planning a traditional theatrical release later this year that will include an awards campaign highlighting Hall’s performance in the title role.
Based on true events, “Christine” follows the curious case of Christine Chubbuck, an ambitious 29-year-old news reporter in Sarasota, Florida, circa 1974. Relentlessly motivated to succeed, she knows she has talent, but being a driven career woman in the 1970s comes with its own challenges, especially when competition for a promotion, unrequited love for a coworker (Michael C. Hall) and a tumultuous home life lead to a dissolution of self.
With ratings in the cellar, the station manager (Tracy Letts) issues a mandate to deliver juicier and more exploitative stories, an approach firmly at odds with Christine’s serious brand of issue-based journalism. To accomplish her goals, she must overcome her self-doubt and give the people what they want.
“Christine” was written by Craig Shilowich, who also produced with Melody C. Roscher. The film was executive produced by Sean Durkin and Josh Mond of Borderline Films as well as Robert Halmi Jr. and Jim Reeve of Great Point Media. The supporting cast includes Maria Dizzia, Timothy Simons, J. Smith-Cameron and Jayson Warner Smith.
“‘Christine’ is one of the most enthralling and compelling films we saw at Sundance and Rebecca Hall‘s performance is simply mesmerizing,” Paul Davidson said, The Orchard’s senior VP of film and television. “There are so few films that truly stick with you the way this one does. Antonio’s vision is exceptionally unique and he is precisely the kind of filmmaker we are committed to working with at The Orchard.”
“We’re so happy that ‘Christine’ has found a home with The Orchard. Their passion and enthusiasm has truly excited us, and we can’t think of a better partner,” Campos added.
The Orchard, whose 2015 Sundance acquisition “Cartel Land” was just nominated for an Academy Award, had another active year at the festival, where it acquired Taika Waititi’s “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and the documentary “Life, Animated.”
Campos is an award-winning writer, director and producer who is also one of the three founding members of Borderline Films, a New York-based production company and filmmaking coalition. Campos’ previous credits as director include the 2008 Cannes selection “Afterschool” and “Simon Killer,” which premiered in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Through Borderline, Campos has produced such titles as Josh Mond‘s “James White” and Sean Durkin‘s “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Borderline also executive produced Nick Pesce’s Sundance title “The Eyes of My Mother” under the new banner Borderline Presents.
The Orchard negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group and WME.