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Helen Hunt’s ‘Ride’ Sells Most Major Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

Hunt’s sophomore directorial outing, after ‘Then She Found Me,’ sees sales traction

Picked up by Screen Media Films for the U.S., then brought on to the international market at November’s American Film Market, “Ride” – which is written and directed by Helen Hunt, who also stars — has closed nearly two-thirds of major territories worldwide.

Regarded distributors Wild Bunch (Germany), Lionsgate UK (U.K./(Ireland), DeAPlaneta (Spain) and Madman (Australia/New Zealand) feature among buyers.

Focusing on story-driven movies for sophisticated audiences (“Y tu mama también,” Stephen Frears’ “Tamara Drewe”), Smile has licensed Scandinavia. T Cast, a buyer of large crossover distributor (“Amour,” “”Clouds of Sils Maria”), has clinched South Korea. Globo TV has acquired Brazilian rights.

Also starring with Luke Wilson and Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent,” “The Giver”), “Ride” is sold by Robert Beaumont’s Santa Monica-based sales-financing company Ultramedia and Marina Fuentes’ Madrid-based 6 Sales. Further first-phase deals include Turkey and Greece (Tanweer), a now significant market, Dexin Film for former-Yugoslavia, and South Africa (Nu Metro). CineSky has purchased airline rights.

Italy, France, Japan and the rest of Latin America are now under negotiation, Fuentes said.

In “Ride,” Hunt limns a New Yorker editor who moves to L.A. after her son drops out of college to find himself. There, she embarks on her own journey of self discovery, letting go as she befriends a limo diver (David Zayas), rediscovers her sexuality with a younger surf instructor (Wilson) and begins to mend her fractured relationship with her son (Thwaites).

“Ride” is produced by L.A.-based Sandbar Pictures, Abandon Features, Big Block Ventures and @The Movies Entertainment. It reps the first movie sold by Ultramedia, which Beaumont, the former president of Lightning ENtertainment, launched in 2013. Ultramedia also raised part of the financing for “Ride” via private equity.

Lizzie Friedman, Greg Little, Karen Lauder, Hunt and Moon Blauner produce “Ride.” Beaumont takes an exec producer credit.

Hunt’s sophomore outing as a director, “Ride” follows her 2007 behind-the-cameras debut, “Then She Found Me,” “an exceptionally deft and self-assured debut as a multi-hyphenate, a smart, subtle and seriously funny dramedy bound to find favor with sophisticated auds,” according to its Variety review.

“Then She Found Me” screened at the Toronto Festival and won Palm Springs Festival’s Audience Award. Hunt took a best actress Oscar for 1997’s “As Good as It Gets”; and drew an Academy Award nomination for a best actress in a supporting role for 2012’s “The Sessions.”

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