IFC Films has nabbed Chad Hartigan’s “Little Fish,” a love story set in a post-pandemic world that will have an eerie resonance when viewed in light of the coronavirus crisis.
The deal is for North American rights. IFC, which has remained active during COVID-19, releasing films such as “The Nest” and “The Trip to Greece,” will debut the picture on Feb. 5, 2021. “Little Fish” stars Olivia Cooke (“Ready Player One”), Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), Raúl Castillo (HBO’s “Looking”), and French singer-songwriter Soko. “Little Fish” boasts a screenplay by Mattson Tomlin based on a short story by Aja Gabel.
According to the official log line, “Little Fish” unfolds in a world where a pandemic has broken out. The disease causes its victims to lose their memories. Newlyweds Emma (Cooke) and Jude (O’Connell) have to grapple with this painful new reality. After Jude contracts the disease, the young couple struggles to hold onto the memory of their romance.
“Chad Hartigan’s prescient and deeply felt love story blew us away on every level,” said Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films. “The stellar performances and gorgeous cinematography complement Chad’s unique and beautiful vision. This is the love story for this moment – bring tissues.”
Hartigan is best known for directing “This is Martin Bonner,” which won Best of NEXT Audience Award as well as the John Cassavetes Award at the Film independent Spirit Awards. He also directed “Morris From America,” which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. “Little Fish” was expected to debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. However, the annual film gathering was upended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, Hartigan said he was happy to land at an indie distributor like IFC, citing the company’s penchant for backing unconventional films.
“’From ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’ to ‘Hunger,’ IFC has released countless films that have inspired and shaped me over the years and as the challenges of 2020 have proven again, they remain one of the most adept and adaptable distribution companies in the business,” he said. “I can think of no better partner to bring this pandemic love story to audiences.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco for IFC with CAA Media Finance representing the filmmakers. Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has rights to the film outside of the U.S.