Bart Layton - News Poster


The Orchard, MoviePass Give 'American Animals' Spring Release

The Orchard has dated Sundance acquisition American Animals for a June 1 North American release.

The indie distribution company partnered with ticketing service MoviePass for the heist movie. American Animals marks the first acquisition for MoviePass, which recently announced that it will lower its price from $9.95 to $7.95 and is bundling its service to include free access to Fandor, a streaming service for independent films.

American Animals, which is based on a true story, was written and directed by Bart Layton. Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson star in the pic as a group of young men who pull off...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

The 2018 True/False Film Fest Lineup

Around every corner is a new and revealing story. In the case of True/False, you never know if it will come in the form of a film, music performance, art installation, or discussion with a filmmaker or attendee about the truths and untruths around us.

The four-day festival in Columbia, Mo is one of the premier documentary film festivals in the United States. The festival has attracted new and returning talent over the years – even high-profile names like Spike Lee, who attended simply to see a short film made by three Missouri School of Journalism students in 2016. You can watch the short film here. One of the most intriguing elements of the festival is that the festival encourages films that walk the line between nonfiction and fiction (hence, the title of the festival). Previous lineups included fictional films like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and the 2012 horror smash V/H
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The Orchard Acquires Sundance Winner ‘We The Animals’

The Orchard has acquired North American rights to We The Animals, the Jeremiah Zagar movie that took the Next Innovator Award at the just-wrapped Sundance Film Festival. A 2018 theatrical release is planned for the pic, a coming-of-age tale based on Justin Torres' debut novel. It is the second Sundance deal for The Orchard which also teamed with MoviePass Ventures to seal a deal for North American rights to Bart Layton's heist thriller American Animals, a pact worth $3…
See full article at Deadline »

Sundance: 'American Animals', 'Blindspotting' sell to North America

Sundance: 'American Animals', 'Blindspotting' sell to North America
The Orchard teams up with new player MoviePass Ventures on Bart Layton debut; Lionsgate take Blindspotting.

The Orchard and new distributor MoviePass Ventures have teamed up on North American rights to Bart Layton’s acclaimed heist film American Animals, while Lionsgate has acquired highly regarded Blindspotting.

The Orchard and new distributor MoviePass Ventures struck the American Animals deal with UTA Independent Film Group, Film4 and AI Film on the same day it emerged that Stx had acquired UK rights from Sierra/Affinity.

Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, and Udo Kier star in the in U.S. Dramatic Competition entry about a group of youngsters who in 2004 attempted an audacious art-theft.

Film4 co-financed and developed the Raw production with AI Film. Katherine Butler, Derrin Schlesinger, Dimitri Doganis, and Mary Jane Skalski produced, and executive producers are Aviv Giladi and Len Blavatnik, David Kosse, Sam Lavender and Daniel Battsek, and Tory Metzger.

See full article at ScreenDaily »

MoviePass and The Orchard Pay $3 Million for ‘American Animals’ — Sundance 2018

Just five days after MoviePass declared that it would acquire films through a new subsidiary, MoviePass Ventures, the company has made good on the promise. Partnering with The Orchard, Mpv will share the reported $3 million bill for North American rights to “American Animals,” the first narrative feature from BAFTA and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentarian Bart Layton (“The Imposter”). A U.S. Dramatic Competition contender at Sundance, “American Animals” premiered there January 19, hours after the MoviePass announcement.

Read More: ‘American Animals’ Review: A True Heist Story About Four Idiot Kids Who Fowled Up — Sundance 2018

“I made this film to be watched in theaters and the fact that this incredibly impressive partnership and this innovative deal put so much emphasis on that is hugely exciting,” said Layton. “Plus, I’ve always loved orchards.”

The movie follows a quartet of young men — Chas Allen (Blake Jenner), Eric Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson), Warren Lipka
See full article at Indiewire »

Sundance: The Orchard, MoviePass Nab Bart Layton's 'American Animals'

The Orchard and MoviePass on Wednesday broke new ground at Sundance by acquiring North American rights to Bart Layton's heist pic American Animals.

Terms of the deal, brokered with UTA Independent Film Group, Film4 and AI Film, were not disclosed. But it is understood from a source close to the negotiations that $3 million was paid for the film, with a major P&A commitment. 

The joint acquisition marks a new theatrical model as The Orchard is working with industry innovator MoviePass to release the true-crime thriller. MoviePass, the controversial subscription service that sells up to a month's worth...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Evan Peters Heist Film ‘American Animals’ Bought by The Orchard and MoviePass

  • The Wrap
Evan Peters Heist Film ‘American Animals’ Bought by The Orchard and MoviePass
MoviePass and The Orchard have acquired the domestic rights to “American Animals,” a true crime heist film directed by Bart Layton and starring Evan Peters. The acquisition is the first pickup from MoviePass, which announced at the Sundance Film Festival last week that it would begin acquiring films with established distributors and promote them via its movie ticket subscription program. The film was purchased for $3 million plus P&A. Also Read: As Movie Attendance Drops, MoviePass Makes Its Big Move “American Animals” follows a group of young men in their early twenties who, in 2004, mistook their lives for a movie and...
See full article at The Wrap »

‘American Animals’: The Orchard & MoviePass Ventures Grab Sundance Pic For North America – Update

Updated, 4:55 Pm: Confirming Deadline’s story from this morning, the Orchard has teamed with MoviePass Ventures to seal a deal for North American rights to writer-director Bart Layton’s heist thriller American Animals, which premiered at Sundance. A source tells Deadline the deal is for $3M with a significant P&A commitment. It’s the first pickup for the nascent MoviePass Ventures. The deal was negotiated by Danielle Digiacomo, VP of Acquisitions for The Orchard, and…
See full article at Deadline »

Sundance: MoviePass, The Orchard Buy ‘American Animals’

MoviePass Ventures and The Orchard are partnering to buy North American distribution rights to “American Animals,” an art heist drama that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The deal was for $3 million and involved a significant P&A commitment, according to a knowledgeable source.

It’s a unique pact, combining the resources of a subscription ticketing service that’s been likened to the Netflix of the exhibition space with the indie studio behind “Cartel Land” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.” At the start of the festival, MoviePass announced that it was looking to buy films and was hoping to partner with a more traditional distribution company. It had talked to studios about partnering on a deal to purchase “Blindspotting,” but that film ultimately sold to Lionsgate. MoviePass’ subscriber rolls currently exceed 1.5 million people, so theoretically it has access to data on consumer habits that could help the companies pitch the film to consumers.

American Animals” hit the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bart Layton’s ‘American Animals’ Is A Stranger-Than-Fiction Tale For A Post-Truth World – Sundance Interview

Bart Layton’s ‘American Animals’ Is A Stranger-Than-Fiction Tale For A Post-Truth World – Sundance Interview
Bart Layton’s American Animals has been amongst the best received and most talked-about movies of this year’s Sundance crop since its Friday premiere at the Eccles, and it’s not hard to see why. As with his first film, The Imposter—a documentary about a French confidence trickster posing as a missing Texan boy—American Animals is another slice of stranger-than-fiction truth. This time, it’s about the audacious theft of several rare and precious books from the special…
See full article at Deadline »

STXinternational Seals UK Deal For ‘American Animals’ – Sundance

STXinternational has acquired UK rights to American Animals, the Bart Layton heist thriller that is playing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the Sundance Film Festival. Sierra/Affinity is repping international rights to the pic in Park City. No word on a U.S. deal yet for the film, but it’s a fairly rare territory deal for this festival, where usually all-rights deals are done like in the case with Mudbound (Netflix) last year and Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) in…
See full article at Deadline »

'American Animals' picked up by Stx International for UK

Heist thriller gets UK deal.

Sundance hit American Animals has been picked up for UK distribution by Stx International, sources have confirmed to Screen.

Bart Layton’s heist thriller premiered to raves in Park City this week. Screen’s review called it a film ”which genuinely breaks new ground”.

Sierra/Affinity handles sales on the project, which is co-financed and developed by Film4 and AI Film.

Producers are Katherine Butler and Dimitri Doganis for UK outfit Raw with Derrin Schlesinger and Mary Jane Skalski.

The film charts the story of four young Us men who undertake a foolhardy heist. Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd and Udo Kier star.

Executive producers on the project are current Stx International boss and former Film4 head David Kosse with Film4’s Sam Lavender and Daniel Battsek, AI Film’s Aviv Giladi and Len Blavatnik, and Tory Metzger via the Lava Bear Films banner.

UTA Independent Film Group is handling
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sundance Review: American Animals is a Unique Telling of a True Story of Four College Students Who Plan a Heist

American Animals is the outlandish docudrama about four college students from Kentucky (played by Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson) who, in 2004, decided to rob the rare books collection at the local university. Driven by an overwhelming desire to be something more than ordinary, their plan quickly escalates and spins out of control. Before they know it, they're in way over their heads without even realizing it.

Director Bart Layton is no novice when it comes to documentaries. His best-known works, The Imposter and Locked Up Abroad are definitive works within the genre, and this film shows just what he can do when given creative liberty to blur the line between fact and fiction.

Combining interviews with the real people involved and dramatic (and maybe not completely accurate) re-creation of the actual event, American Animals is captivating from start to finish. The use of light-hearted banter makes
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Sundance 2018 Dispatch: Indie Fare Scores with Commercial Appeal

Sundance has long been the top fest for Us independent films looking for a little love from big money distributors. It's expected that the annual lineup includes movies on the spectrum all the way from tiny esoteric documentaries to broadly appealing narratives filled with movie stars taking breaks from their latest superhero blockbuster. So as the snowy Park City streets continue to be filled with filmmakers with dollar signs in their eyes, it's quite notable that the 2018 edition has featured some of the highest quality films on the commercial end of that spectrum in recent Sundance memory. Premiering at this festival some 6 years ago, director Bart Layton's excellent first film The Imposter fell a bit more on the esoteric docu side of the...

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See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Sundance 2018: American Animals review

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Nathan McVay

Six years ago I walked into a theater in Austin,Texas and sat down for a film that would become one of my favorite documentaries of all time. I walked in expecting to hear a story of a missing child and the unexpected results that came when his family found him. But what I witnessed was a film that completely bent the rules of filmmaking and documentary storytelling.

It was a doc that felt like an action thriller. A story that couldn’t possibly be true coming to life in a way never before told. That film was titled The Imposter. The Imposter blurred the lines of narrative and documentary storytelling and every interview, every fact unveiled and every twist was meticulously crafted in a way that would make the greatest action directors of our time jealous. But it was all true. Nothing was embellished. It was
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Review: American Animals (Sundance)

  • JoBlo
Plot: The true story of the .Transy Book Heist., where four Lexington, Kentucky university student stole rare books worth millions from their own college library. Review: American Animals marks the narrative directorial debut of documentarian Bart Layton. It.s a docu-drama with a twist. While the majority of the film is done as a straight-up feature, Layton occasionally cuts to interviews with the real... Read More...
See full article at JoBlo »

Sundance Review: ‘American Animals’ is a Shape-Shifting, Suspenseful Heist Thriller

The rich genre of crime film in which dumbasses get themselves in way over their heads has a proud new entry with American Animals. Though premiering as part of Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition, I’d strenuously argue that it is in fact a documentary that happens to be 90% reenactment. Hell, the movie itself even states in the opening chyron that it is a true story, not based on one. The real figures involved not only provide commentary but also shape the film itself, as conflicting testimonies will change a scene’s location or what a certain person is wearing. The conflict between differing points of view and retrospective perspective express the movie’s themes of shaping one’s reality by acting as though you’re in a different story than the one you think you’re living.

In this case, Spencer Reinhard (played in reenactments by Barry Keoghan
See full article at The Film Stage »

Sundance 2018: 'American Animals' is a Fun, Unbelievable True Story

What happens when a bunch of bored young American teens try to pull off an art heist? That's the premise behind this new film from director Bart Layton, titled American Animals, which just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Back in 2012, Bart Layton brought his documentary The Imposter to Sundance, and I wrote in my review that it's "one of those unbelievable true stories you just must see to believe." American Animals is very similar, thematically, to that film in the way that it's another almost-unbelievable, can't-believe-it's-a-true-story story. But this is about of a group of wacky, free-spirited kids who failed miserably trying to pull off an art heist at a local university in Kentucky. It's creative and fun, but not that memorable. The film is about a group of four youngsters who decide, on a whim, to attempt to steal some rare one-of-a-kind books from a university library. The
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Ben Stiller to Direct Jonah Hill in Adaptation of Sundance-Winning Documentary ‘We Live in Public’ — Sundance 2018

  • Indiewire
Ben Stiller to Direct Jonah Hill in Adaptation of Sundance-Winning Documentary ‘We Live in Public’ — Sundance 2018
Ondi Timoner’s 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, “We Live in Public,” will become a feature film directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jonah Hill as Josh Harris, the dot-com millionaire who carried out a surveillance experiment with 150 residents at a Manhattan hotel amid Y2K panic.

Bold Films will finance the project, which Timoner will produce with Stiller’s Red Hour Films. Timoner announced the project during an interview at a January 20, Dell-sponsored panel, “Life After Sundance — Building a Career in Indie Filmmaking.”

Timoner also briefly discussed “Mapplethorpe,” her just-completed biopic of Robert Mapplethorpe with “The Crown” star Matt Smith in the lead. She said Sundance accepted the film for the 2018 festival, but it hit “a bump” that prevented its screening.

Read More: Portraying Chaos: Ondi Timoner’s “We Live In Public” (Sundance ’09)

Red Hour Films CEO Nicky Weinstock told IndieWire that “We Live In Public” will be penned
See full article at Indiewire »

‘American Animals’ Director Bart Layton Reveals the True Story Behind His Stranger-Than-Fiction Sundance Caper — Watch

  • Indiewire
‘American Animals’ Director Bart Layton Reveals the True Story Behind His Stranger-Than-Fiction Sundance Caper — Watch
The cast and crew of “American Animals” stopped by the IndieWire Studio Presented by Dropbox earlier today, with director Bart Layton explaining what compelled him to dramatize a real-life heist that went horribly wrong in his new Sundance caper. Watch below.

Read More:‘American Animals’ Review: A True Heist Story About Four Idiot Kids Who Fowled Up — Sundance 2018

“I’d read about the story of this crime, and everything about it seemed quite unusual — not least the fact that it was perpetrated by a group of seemingly well-educated young men from pretty good backgrounds,” Layton says. “I initially thought it sounded like a good yarn, and the more I read about it, the more it seemed, like all capers, it was well planned but it didn’t quite go according to plan.”

Those young men actually appear in the film at one point, something that stars Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan both found necessary.
See full article at Indiewire »
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