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Topic Studios Backs Sundance Comedy-Drama ‘The Climb’

Topic Studios has come on board to finance and produce “The Climb,” a comedic drama from the filmmaking team of Kyle Marvin and Michael Covino.

“The Climb” expands on the story and characters from the short film of the same title that premiered in the narrative competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Topic for its digital storytelling platform, Topic.com. In his feature film directorial debut, Covino will direct from a script he wrote with Marvin.

The film tells the story of the friendship between two lifelong friends, played by Covino and Marvin, over several chapters and spanning numerous years, marriages, heartbreaks and conflicts.

“We loved ‘The Climb’ when we saw the short at Sundance, and knew Mike and Kyle had a lot more to say about their relationship, with a truly unique voice,” said Adam Pincus, exec VP for Topic Studios. “We think audiences are going to love their oversharing, poignant, funny take on friendship, and the distinct way they have of telling it.”

Topic Studios will produce the film alongside Covino and Marvin. Production is set to begin in August.

“We’re so excited to be working with the team at Topic. They’ve been incredibly supportive and are passionate about the film,” said Covino.  “We couldn’t ask for better creative partners. They also have money; which helps, because movies cost money.”

Current projects at Topic Studios include Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace,” acquired by Bleecker Street and set to open June 29, and the political documentary Dark Money, acquired by PBS Distribution to be released theatrically in July.

Other films in development at Topic Studios include “On the Other Side,” the story of war correspondent Kate Webb starring Carey Mulligan; and Rodrigo Prieto’s directorial debut “Bastard,” with executive producers Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions, alongside Jordan Horowitz and Annie Marter as producers. The studio is also behind the documentary “XY Chelsea” about the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and trans woman Chelsea Manning, which was acquired by Showtime.

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