You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Roadside picks up ‘Winter’s Bone’

Company eyes summer release for Sundance pic

PARK CITY, Utah — Only hours before Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone” won top honors at the Sundance Film Festival Saturday night, Roadside Attractions won a bidding war for all North American distribution rights to the drama-thriller, toplining Jennifer Lawrence.

Roadside, run by indie veterans Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, paid in the low- to mid-six figure range for “Winter’s Bone,” which won the fest’s Grand Jury Prize for a feature.

Film also won the Waldo Salt screenwriting award, going to Granik and Anne Rosellini.

Roadside closed its deal midday. One suitor came in at the 11th hour with a higher offer, but the filmmakers decided to stick with Roadside, saying it offered up the best plan to release and market the film.

Submarine’s Josh Braun, who’s repping the title, has been fielding interest since “Winter’s Bone” premiered a week ago. Those circling included Samuel Goldwyn Films, Sony Pictures Classics, Apparition and the Weinstein Co, although not all submitted official bids.

Roadside is eyeing a summer theatrical release. Pic will be distributed in Canada by Maple Pictures, Roadside’s partner.

“Winter’s Bone” was produced by Anonymous Content and Winter’s Bone Prods. Producers are Alix Madigan-Yorkin and Rosellini.

Film drew strong notices throughout the fest, particularly for Lawrence’s performance. Set against the brutal poverty of the Ozarks, storyline revolves around a 17-year-old girl who, tough beyond her years, goes in search of her father, a meth-dealer who has jumped bail and put the family’s home in danger of being taken away.

“With ‘Winter’s Bone,’ Debra Granik has crafted a classic detective story, a nail-biting thriller and an unbelievably touching family drama, all in one film,” Roadside head of acquisitions and business affairs Dustin Smith said. “It is everything Sundance is about.”

“Down to the Bone,” Granik’s last feature, also was a Sundance favorite and is credited for launching Vera Farmiga’s film career.

“Winter’s Bone” (not a sequel) was adapted by Granik and Rosellini from Missouri-based author Daniel Woodrell’s tome. Film also stars John Hawkes and Dale Dickey, as well as a number of first-time actors living in and around where the film was shot in the Ozarks.

Exec producers are Jonathan Scheuer and Shawn Simon.

“Winter’s Bone” will make its international premiere next month in official selection at the Berlin Film Festival.

Deal was brokered by Smith and Cohen for Roadside, and Braun and Jason Janego for Submarine.

The Roadside pact came on a busy second weekend for Sundance. Usually, dealmaking slows in the final days of the fest, but not this year.

Other Submarine titles nearing distribution deals include feature “The Freebie” and documentaries “Countdown to Zero,” about the possibility of nuclear disaster, and “Joan Rivers–A Piece of Work.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Keke Palmer BlogHer19 Summit

    Keke Palmer Brought to Tears Accepting Truth Teller Award at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit

    Keke Palmer stood surprised and wide-mouthed on the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit stage as she was presented with the Truth Teller Award for her recent acting work — and her viral “sorry to this man” clip. “This means so much,” the multi-hyphenated star softly whispered as she got teary-eyed upon accepting the award. Last week, the [...]


    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content