Netflix’s Brahman Naman deal completes Sundance VOD shopping spree
James R | On 01, Feb 2016
Coming-of-age flick Brahman Naman, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will be released on Netflix worldwide later this year.
Set in Bangalore in the 1980s and directed by Q, the Indian comedy follows the exploits of Naman, a high-school quiz champ who leads his hopelessly nerdy friends on a trip to Calcutta to win a major college prize.
Written by Naman Ramachandran and produced by Steve Barron and Celine Loop, Brahman Naman is Q’s latest film, following Gandu, Tasher Desh and Ludo. It stars Shashank Arora as Naman, Tanmany Dhanania and Chaitanya Varad as his sidekicks, and features Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy and Sid Mallya.
“Brahman Naman is Indian cinema at its boldest: fast, furious and raucously funny,” says Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “It’s a movie that will delight adolescents of all ages, and we’re excited to bring this hilarious tale to our members around the world.”
The acquisition of the global streaming rights for the film marks the final deal of the festival for Netflix. Indeed, the VOD giant and its rival, Amazon, have both been very active at Sundance, snapping up indies left, right and centre to release as exclusives for their subscribers. While Amazon has focused primarily on US rights to titles, including theatrical distribution, Netflix has often foregone the theatrical rights for a film in favour of the worldwide rights, as its global network continues to expand. Either way, this is the first festival where both have been out in full force – and the spending power they have versus the traditional studios is a indicator of the impact the new online players are having in a changing industry.
Here’s a full list of the Sundance Netflix and Amazon acquisitions we know about:
Coming-of-age comedy from Indian director Q.
Comedy drama starring Elliot Page about a young drifter who takes a baby from a negligent mother, with Allison Janney starring as a woman who thinks she’s the baby’s grandmother.
Fundamentals of Caring
Bought for a record-breaking sum by Netflix, the film follows Ben (Paul Rudd), who decides to become a carer for muscular dystrophy patient Trevor (Craig Roberts) to earn money following a tragedy. Together, they go on a road trip, becoming friends with Dot, played by Selena Gomez, along the way.
Under the Shadow
This Iranian horror takes place in wartime 1988 and follows Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi), who start to believe their family home is haunted by djinn (evil spirits) that are trying to steal their most treasured possessions. Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Babak Anvari.
Audrie & Daisy
Directed by award-winning filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (The Island President), Audrie & Daisy charts the parallel stories of two teenage girls from opposite sides of the country, both sexually assaulted by boys they considered to be their friends. Harassed online and taunted at school in the wake of their assaults, each girl is driven to attempt suicide.
Todd Solondz’s comedy, which stars Greta Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Kieran Culkin and Julie Delpy, tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund.
Manchester By The Sea
Kenneth Lonergan’s follow-up to Margaret stars Casey Affleck as a man who is forced to go home after the death of his brother to care for his nephew. The film, which is produced by Matt Damon, also stars Kyle Chandler and Michelle Williams and has already been tipped as a likely contender for the awards season next year.
This romantic drama, starring Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon, follows a couple whose relationship is turned upside down when a former flame of the man reappears.
Love & Friendship
Whit Stillman’s latest is based on an unpublished Jane Austen story (Artificial Eye in the UK has snapped up British theatrical rights.)
Author: The JT Leroy Story
Jeff Feuerzeig’s stranger-than-fiction documentary follows the story behind literary persona JT LeRoy, a fictional writer created by American author Laura Albert, complete with a made-up back-story of prostitution, drugs and vagrancy.