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Wilderpeople does deal at Sundance

Taika Waititi returns to The Orchard, which also handled What We Do in the Shadows
The Orchard has taken North American distribution rights to Taika Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople. The film premiered last Friday night at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, prompting a truckload of good reviews and a session on the piste for star Sam ‘Six Stitches’ Neill.

The deal covers all rights and was announced as “just under US$2 million”, which is a somewhat flexible figure but an impressive start.

The film marks the second time around for Waititi and The Orchard, who handled all post-theatrical windows in the US for Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s 2015 What We Do in the Shadows.

Wilderpeople’s next stop is Berlin, where the film will have a market screening at the European Film Market. The critical and audience reception at Sundance, plus the deal for the US rights, should help drive interest in Europe.

Also receiving a market screening in Berlin will be Jake Mahaffy’s Free In Deed, a winner at its world premiere in Venice and the subject of an entertaining BSS 2015 session last year.

Also in Berlin, Tammy Davis’ Born to Dance and Lee Tamahori’s Mahana will play in the festival.

Back at Sundance David Farrier’s doco Tickled also received a strong critical reception following its debut. One would assume that reception, coupled with the film’s US subject matter, would be driving some sales discussions, but there’ve been no announcements as yet.

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