Amazon has stolen the show at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, acquiring what can only be described as “a lot” of movies, some of them at record-setting prices. But HBO has also been busy quietly buying up a pair of films.
The cable network was the talk of Utah last year, after it acquired the groundbreaking The Tale. Now, it’s added two more films to its growing Sundance library: Native Son, based on Richard Wright’s novel, and Share, the debut feature of director Pippa Bianco. Both films were sold to HBO by A24.
Native Son was nabbed by HBO before it even premiered at the festival. Originally set to be released in cineams by the studio behind Moonlight, it instead was sold to HBO.
It marks the debut of visual artist Rashid Johnson and follows Bigger Thomas, a young African-American who takse a job working for a powerful family in Chicago, only for the decision to have tragic, unforeseen circumstances. Adapted from Wright’s book by Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, it stars Ashton Sanders, Margaret Qualley and Nick Robinson.
Share follows a 16-year-old high school student who discovers that a video of her during a disturbing night she doesn’t remember was filmed on a mobile phone and is being circulated around her shool. The film is based on Bianco’s own short and stars Charlie Plummer (Lean on Pete) and Rhianne Barreto. It was produced by Carly Hugo, Tyler Brye and Matt Parker.
A24 is no stranger to streaming services and small screen releases: last year, it signed a deal with Apple to produce a slate of original movies for the tech giant’s upcoming VOD platform. It will help out with marketing for both Share and Native Son, which are set to debut at some point this year. They will be available, like The Tale, on Sky Atlantic in the UK, and also available to stream on NOW TV.
Photos: Courtesy of Sundance Institute