Sundance Hit ‘The Starling Girl’ Sells to Bleecker Street

The indie distributor secured the North American rights to Laurel Parmet’s feature debut

The Starling Girl
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Bleecker Street has acquired the North American rights to writer-director Laurel Parmet’s feature directorial debut,” The Starling Girl,” the company announced on Friday.

The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and stars Eliza Scanlen (“Little Women,” “Sharp Objects”), Lewis Pullman (“Outer Range”, “Top Gun: Maverick”), Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Wrenn Schmidt (“For All Mankind”, “Nope”) and Austin Abrams (“Paper Towns,” “Do Revenge”).

Bleecker Street will release the film theatrically later this year.

“The Starling Girl” follows 17-year-old Jem Starling (Scanlen), who struggles to define her place within her fundamentalist Christian community in rural Kentucky. Even her greatest joy — the church dance group — is tempered by worry that her love of dance is actually sinful, and she’s caught between a burgeoning awareness of her own sexuality and an instinctive resistance to her mom’s urging that the time has come to begin courting. She finds respite from her confusion in the encouragement of her youth pastor Owen (Pullman), who is likewise drawn to the blossoming Jem’s attention.

The film is produced by Kevin Rowe and Kara Durrett. Executive producers include Jessamine Burgum, Will Greenfield, Douglas Choi, Martina Bassenger, Chris Stolte, Heidi Stolte, William Reedy, Emily Reedy and David Hinojosa.

The deal was negotiated by Miranda King and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street and UTA Independent Film Group and WME Independent on behalf of the filmmakers.

Variety first reported the news.