Indie distributor The Orchard picked up U.S. distribution rights for another South by Southwest award-winning film on Tuesday, securing rights to “The New Romantic,” written and directed by newcomer Carly Stone.
Stone won the Best First Feature jury award at SXSW for the film. The Orchard also acquired the U.S. rights to “The Dawn Wall,” which won the SXSW audience award in the documentary spotlight category.
“The Orchard is the perfect home for our film,” said Stone in a statement. “They’re passionate, cool and understand how to connect to our target audience.”
“The New Romantic” is positioned as a millennial romantic drama and stars Jessica Barden (“End of the F****ing World”), Hayley Law (“Riverdale”) and Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”).
The film follows Blake Conway, an aspiring journalist and hopeless romantic college senior, who is terrified of graduating. In order to escape her looming post-graduation fate of student debt and zero romantic prospects, she becomes a sugar baby. As she documents the adventure in the hopes of winning a journalism award with a generous cash prize, she sets out on a quest to figure out if society is right to judge these women and if her own self-worth comes with a price.
“‘The New Romantic’ is a refreshingly bold and complex romantic comedy, helmed by talented writer-director Carly Stone who gives a nod to Nora Ephron with a voice and vision that is truly her own,” Danielle DiGiacomo, The Orchard’s vice president of acquisitions, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Carly and her amazing team to bring her debut film to audiences who will surely be entertained and delighted.”
Kyle Mann and Michael Risley of Drive Films produced as well as financed the film. Jonathan Bronfman of JoBro Productions and Jason Jallet of Notario also produced.
The Orchard plans to release the film in New York and Los Angeles theaters in the fall.
“We’re thrilled to be working with The Orchard, a distributor that shares our passion for Carly’s remarkable debut film,” Mann said in a statement. “We can’t wait for an audience to fall in love with this authentic and genuinely funny film.”
The deal was negotiated by The Orchard’s Danielle DiGiacomo with Aqute Media’s Berry Meyerowitz & Jeff Sackman and ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmaker.
Stone is repped by ICM Partners and Good Fear.