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Topic Studios has signed a first-look deal with Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin, the filmmakers and stars of the buddy comedy “The Climb.”

Under the two-year deal, the duo will develop and produce feature films with an eye to direct for Topic with their Watch This Ready banner. “The Climb” was Covino’s feature directorial debut and was developed, financed and produced on a fast track by Topic Studios after acquiring the original short film of the same name at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

“The Climb” premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year where it won Un Certain Regard Heart Prize and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. The film tells the story of an epic friendship spanning numerous years, marriages, heartbreaks and conflicts.

“The Climb” premiered in North America at the Telluride Film Festival and will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“In our first project out of the gate, Michael and Kyle created an incredibly funny, original and endearing film that defies categorization,” said Maria Zuckerman of Topic Studios. “We love their sensibility and are excited to partner with these multi-talented creative souls as they explore the world through their unique lens.”

“We had an amazing experience working with Topic Studios on ‘The Climb’ and look forward to continuing our relationship with them,” said Covino and Marvin.

Projects from Topic Studios include Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace,” Julius Onah’s thriller “Luce,” the political documentary “Dark Money,” and Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers drama “The Laundromat,” starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.