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Amazon Studios Acquires SXSW Film ‘Creative Control’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Amazon Studios has acquired the SXSW indie “Creative Control,” Variety has learned, slating it for a theatrical and streaming release.

The film, directed by Benjamin Dickinson, tells the story of an advertising executive (also played by Dickinson) testing a pair of new virtual reality glasses. It will likely open next year. According to sources, Amazon will partner with Magnolia Pictures for a deal to distribute the film in theaters before it plays on Amazon, which launched into the original movie business in early 2015 with a slate that so far includes Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” “Elvis and Nixon” (acquired out of Cannes) and the comedy “Desired Moments,” starring Kristen Wiig.

Amazon is high on Dickinson as a new voice in the filmmaking world, and has also committed to developing his next project.

“Creative Control” debuted in March at SXSW, where it won the special jury prize for visual excellence. “A contemplative tone, a zigzagging narrative, superb widescreen black-and-white cinematography and an infusion of dry humor make it feel genuinely fresh,” Variety’s Ben Kenigsberg wrote in a positive review. “Critical nurturing could help this moody, offbeat indie find its audience.”

The film was written by Micah Bloomberg and Dickinson, and was produced by Mark De Pace, Zachary Mortensen, Melody C. Roscher and Craig Shilowich.

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