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John Carney’s ‘Flora and Son’ Sells to Apple for Roughly $20 Million Following Sundance Premiere

A still from Flora and Son by John Carney, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

John Carney’s “Flora and Son” has sold to Apple Original Films following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.

The sale closed at $20 million, one source familiar with the film told Variety. Another insider disputed this, and said the number was just approaching $20 million. The “Sing Street” filmmakers big-ticket deal follows “Fair Play,” a psychosexual drama that went to Netflix for $20 million.

The film is a big-hearted look at Flora, a struggling single mom (Eve Hewson of “Bad Sisters”) who finds a way to connect with her troubled teenage son (Oren Kinlan, making his big-screen debut) through a shared love of music. In turn, Flora develops a bond with her guitar teacher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), despite the fact that she lives in Dublin and he’s based in Los Angeles. Jack Reynor plays her self-absorbed ex-husband. Carney is a master of these music-infused movies, having previously scored with the likes of “Sing Street” and “Once.” “Flora and Son” is also viewed as one of the more commercial offerings at a festival where some studio executives have grumbled that there are a lot of creatively fulfilling movies that are tough sells.

The film’s uplifting story resonated with Sundance crowds and critics. IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote that “Carney has never been interested in churning out expected endings, but where he takes “Flora and Son” might be his most satisfying conclusion yet, and while it make take a a bit of a winding path to get there, hell, isn’t that the problem with life itself? At least this one ends on a very high note indeed.”

“Flora and Son” is represented by Fifth Season, WME Independent and FilmNation.