EXCLUSIVE: The upstart 30WEST has made its third splashy deal at the Toronto Film Festival, acquiring the North American distribution rights to Beast, the Michael Pearce-directed film that premiered Saturday at the Winter Garden Theatre. The deal is seven figures, including P&A spend.
Co-founded by Dan Friedkin and Micah Green, with Dan Steinman quickly signing on as partner, 30WEST came to this festival to make partnerships with North distributors to facilitate significant theatrical releases on high profile films. The company has had a brisk Toronto, completing more film deals than anyone else at this point. Beast follows 30WEST buying domestic rights along with NEON on the festival’s highest profile film, the Craig Gillespie-directed I, Tonya, and teaming with Cinetic Media to sell the rights to YouTube Red on the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! Protagonist Pictures brokered the Beast rights deal.
The feature length debut of writer/director Pearce, Beast stars Jessie Buckley (Taboo), Johnny Flynn (Clouds of Sils Maria) and Geraldine James (Calendar Girls). The psychological thriller centers around a small island community where a troubled young woman falls for a mysterious outsider who empowers her to escape from her oppressive family. When he comes under suspicion for a series of brutal murders, she defends him at all costs and learns what she is capable of.
Said Protagonist Pictures’ CEO Dave Bishop: “The whole Protagonist team is delighted to have 30WEST take the North American reins of Pearce’s powerful directorial debut. Beast is an exquisite feature film and we look forward to audiences enjoying it as much as they have here in Toronto.”
Beast is a Film4 and BFI presentation of an Agile Films and Stray Bear Films Production, produced by Stray Bear Films’ Ivana MacKinnon, Lauren Dark and Kristian Brodie for Agile Films. Film4’s Sam Lavender, BFI’s Natascha Wharton, Agile Films’ Myles Payne and David Staniland, and David Kosse are the exec producers. Pic was developed and funded by Film4 and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).
Deal was negotiated directly by 30WEST and Vanessa Saal of Protagonist Pictures, which is handling worldwide sales on the film.