PARK CITY, Utah — Sony Pictures Classics continues to make noise here, as the company is in final negotiations to snag domestic distribution rights to “Shadow Magic” from Chinese-born director Ann Hu.
“Magic” is the company’s second acquisition, having bought “Groove” earlier in the week.
SPC will pay just shy of $1 million for the deal. Pact is being brokered by Gotham-based Redeemable Features, which served as the pic’s producers’ rep.
“Magic” was produced by Sandra Schulberg (“I Shot Andy Warhol”), as well as Zhang Xia, Cheng Zheng and Lee You-Ning.
Set in 1902, “Magic” revolves around a foreigner, Raymond Wallace, who has set up the first crude movie theater in Beijing — Shadow Magic –and hopes to make a fortune there and return to England. Described as a chronicle of the early 20th Century class between culture and technology, “Magic” interweaves several storylines as well as a romantic relationship.
Arriving in the U.S. in 1979, filmmaker Hu was among the first students to leave mainland China after the Cultural Revolution. After succeeding as a commodities trader, she decided to become a filmmaker and in 1992 entered NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Hu’s first film, “Dream and Memory,” garnered her international recognition in 1994.
Hu is completing the doc “Red Guards.”