The SXSW Film Festival isn’t a venue that normally inspires bidding wars or debuts Oscar contenders. But “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” a dramedy starring Sally Field that landed the festival’s audience award in the headliners category, has proven to be an exception.
Following a standing ovation at the Austin premiere on March 14 for the comedy directed by Michael Showalter (“Wet Hot American Summer”), multiple distributors have bid on the picture, Variety has learned.
The Orchard, a relatively new player in the movie business (which picked up “The Overnight” at Sundance), has raised the stakes with a seven-figure offer. Starz is also circling the project, and there’s a proposal from Roadside Attractions to take the domestic rights with Sony Pictures handling the foreign rollout. Although some major distributors are not interested — such as the Weinstein Co. and Fox Searchlight — the filmmakers are fielding other offers too, according to an insider.
The producers at Red Crown Productions and Haven Pictures are said to be looking for a distributor that would give their comedy a high-profile theatrical release and possibly an awards push.
“Hello, My Name Is Doris” is a rare starring vehicle for Sally Field, who plays a sixtysomething office worker obsessed with her much young colleague (Max Greenfield). With the right distributor, Field could enter the lead actress Oscar race for the first time since she won her second statue for 1984’s “Places in the Heart.”
UTA is handling the deal.