Fox Searchlight nabs ‘Martha Marcy’

Company acquires worldwide rights to Sundance title

Park City– Nabbing worldwide rights to its second film in less than 24 hours, Fox Searchlight has picked up worldwide rights to Sundance title “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” from first-time writer/director Sean Durkin.

Searchlight bought rights last night to coming-of-age tale “Homework,” with two other titles in the fest: “Win Win” and “Cedar Rapids.” Distrib plans to release “Martha” this year.

Latest Sundance deal was announced today by Searchlight prexies Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula.

“Martha,” which toplines Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes, Brady Corbet, and Hugh Dancy, follows the story of a damaged woman haunted by her time spent in a cult. Olsen, the 21-year-old younger sister of the Olsen twins, also drew attention at Sundance for horror thriller “Silent House.”

Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Chris Maybach and Patrick Cunningham produced “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”

Borderline Films Production and This Is That Productions are behind the project, presented by FilmHaven Entertainment and Maybach Cunningham.

Searchlight exec VP of worldwide acquisitions Tony Safford, senior VP of business affairs Megan O’Brien, VP of acquisitions Ray Strache and Richard Klubeck, and Rena Ronson and David Flynn of UTA’s Independent Film Group (on behalf of the filmmakers) brokered the deal.

“We were all captivated by the compelling performances and the expert craftsmanship of Sean Durkin,” said Gilula and Utley in a joint statement. “We are excited to bring this gripping drama to audiences everywhere.”

Rachel Abrams contributed to this report.