Millennium Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to Elgin James’ “Little Birds” and will release the drama in the fall.
“Birds,” which premiered in January at Sundance in the dramatic competition, stars Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, Kate Bosworth and Leslie Mann. It’s produced by Jamie Patricof, Alan Polsky and Gabe Polsky and exec produced by Max Burger, Monique Burger, Kevin Iwashina and Stefan Nowicki.
“Little Birds” is being handled by WestEnd Films internationally and is making its international debut at the Cannes market.
James, a former gang member turned filmmaker, was tapped this year as one of Variety’s Ten Directors to Watch. He wrote and directed “Little Birds,” the story of two aimless 15-year-old girls who fall into a world of scams and petty crime, after developing the project at the Sundance Lab.
“Elgin has made a powerful and surprising film that deeply resonated with us,” said Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee.
Millenium was formed in 2010 and marked its first theatrical release in April with “Trust,” directed by David Schwimmer and starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis.
Patricof’s Hunting Lane Films produced “Blue Valentine” and is set to begin principal photography this summer on “The Place Beyond the Pines,” with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper attached.
James was sentenced in March to a year in prison after pleading guilty to attempted extortion in a 2005 scheme in which he demanded a $5,000 “charitable donation” from an unidentified Chicago musician as the price for preventing beatings from the antiracist gang FSU.
Director of Acquisitions Vincent Scordino negotiated the “Little Birds” deal on behalf of Millennium and Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina handled the North American sale on behalf of the filmmakers.