Apple nabs acclaimed 'CODA' film in Sundance record-setting $25M deal

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2021
The drama, which drew raves from the "virtual" film festival, was reportedly nabbed for Apple TV+ for $25 million.

Emilia Jones in
Emilia Jones in "CODA," reportedly acquired by Apple from the Sundance Film Festival


The annual Sundance Film Festival is being held on the final weekend of January, on a virtual basis for 2021, and one of the most acclaimed films of the festival's opening stretch was CODA, a drama from director Sian Heder.

According to Deadline, Apple stepped up to acquire worldwide rights to CODA for "just over $25 million." If true, it would represent a record for films acquired out of Sundance, breaking the high bar of $22.5 million that Hulu and Neon paid for the rights to Palm Springs in 2020.

Apple took part in a bidding war that also included Amazon, which could have led the film to premiere via its Prime Instant Video service. Variety also reported the $25 million figure as well, suggesting the figure could be accurate.

Apple had not yet officially announced the deal as of mid-afternoon on January 30.

Apple had acquired the rights to the documentary Boys State at the 2020 edition of Sundance, for a reported $10 million, in a deal that also included A24. It doesn't appear that A24 is involved with the CODA deal.

CODA, the Sundance Film Festival hit acquired by Apple
CODA, the Sundance Film Festival hit acquired by Apple


CODA tells the story of a young woman named Ruby (Emilia Jones), the only hearing member of a family in which her parents and brother are deaf. Ruby also has aspirations to go to music school -- which puts her at odds with family in more ways than one -- and has a romance with a classmate. "CODA" stands for "child of deaf adults," and is also a nod to the film's musical aspects.

The film is set in Gloucester, Mass., where the family runs its fishing business. CODA is the type of story that the movies have been telling as far back as The Jazz Singer in 1929, about the conflict in a family between parents who want one thing for their child, when the child wants something else.

CODA is the sort of movie that delivers equal amounts of laughter and tears, along with plenty of music and representation, and would seem to be a fit with what Apple is doing in terms of programming for Apple TV+. In addition, Sian Heder, the director of Coda, is the executive producer of the Apple TV+ show Little America.

There's no word yet on when CODA might be arriving, or whether it will receive a theatrical release.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 624member
    Weird. I've been binge watching the last 12 seasons on Dr. Who and I immediately recognized the name Emilia Jones. She played a child singer in an episode about a sleeping god. Even at age 10 or so, she was very good. 
    ramanpfaff
  • Reply 2 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,395member
    My wife, a speechy, often astounds me with the stories she has to say about the behaviour of deaf parents with hearing children.

    byronl
  • Reply 3 of 9
    I finished reading Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, a few minutes ago and these words in one of the final endnotes connected, in a unique way:

    “150. The theme of seductive but dangerous music has always exercised the imagination.”

    Pace The Jazz SingerCODA, Oliver Sacks’s stories generally express family members deeply connected to each other’s success, willingly, seemingly cheerfully, sacrificing in their support, for example:

    “Although I had years of music lessons as a child, I cannot match pitch and often cannot tell if one pitch is higher or lower than another. I’ve never been able to understand why anyone would buy a CD or go to a concert. Although I regularly go to concerts in which my husband or daughter perform, it has nothing to do with a desire to hear the music. The association of music and emotion is a mystery to me.”
    byronl
  • Reply 4 of 9
    XedXed Posts: 1,432member
    entropys said:
    My wife, a speechy, often astounds me with the stories she has to say about the behaviour of deaf parents with hearing children.
    I'm curious what that might entail. Do you have any examples you can share?
    byronl
  • Reply 5 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,395member
    Deaf culture is a belief that deafness is not a disability, but can be a valid way of life.  To an extent that is true until it prevents intervention, or gets promoted to a person’s detriment. Like any strong belief system I guess.  
    I won’t discuss the worst example I have heard, and leave it to your imagination, but not too different to the worst end of the spectrum of appalling things any sort of parent could do in regard to raising children. I will give you one though: two deaf parents, child also hearing impaired, but quite addressable with a cochlear implant. The parents refused it because deafness is a valid lifestyle.

    look those are bad stories, there are also funny ones too, like the 8 year old complaining to Mrs Entropy about how noisy her parents get late at night.

    I don’t want to give the impression all deaf parents can be like this, and this is a digression from the article though, so apologies Appleinsider



    Anyway, if you don’t want to wait for this to show up on Apple TV+, watch La Famille Bélier, although the family run a French farm rather than a fishing business. I suspect it is essentially the same story and very good, and very funny, and everyone is very lovable. It’s still funny in subtitles if you’re wondering.
    iTunes link
    edited January 2021 Xedbyronl
  • Reply 6 of 9
    XedXed Posts: 1,432member
    entropys said:
    Deaf culture is a belief that deafness is not a disability, but can be a valid way of life.  To an extent that is true until it prevents intervention, or gets promoted to a person’s detriment. Like any strong belief system I guess.  
    I won’t discuss the worst example I have heard, and leave it to your imagination, but not too different to the worst end of the spectrum of appalling things any sort of parent could do in regard to raising children. I will give you one though: two deaf parents, child also hearing impaired, but quite addressable with a cochlear implant. The parents refused it because deafness is a valid lifestyle.

    look those are bad stories, there are also funny ones too, like the 8 year old complaining to Mrs Entropy about how noisy her parents get late at night.

    I don’t want to give the impression all deaf parents can be like this, and this is a digression from the article though, so apologies Appleinsider



    Anyway, if you don’t want to wait for this to show up on Apple TV+, watch La Famille Bélier, although the family run a French farm rather than a fishing business. I suspect it is essentially the same story and very good, and very funny, and everyone is very lovable. It’s still funny in subtitles if you’re wondering.
    iTunes link
    Thanks for the info. 
    byronl
  • Reply 7 of 9
    hippohippo Posts: 25member
    The Sundance Film Festival is not only virtual this year -- there are 20 drive-in or walk-in satellite theatres showing the films. For example, CODA was screened in San Francisco on January 28, 2021 outdoors via drive-in at Fort Mason.

    byronl
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Xed said:
    entropys said:
    Deaf culture is a belief that deafness is not a disability, but can be a valid way of life.  To an extent that is true until it prevents intervention, or gets promoted to a person’s detriment. Like any strong belief system I guess.  
    I won’t discuss the worst example I have heard, and leave it to your imagination, but not too different to the worst end of the spectrum of appalling things any sort of parent could do in regard to raising children. I will give you one though: two deaf parents, child also hearing impaired, but quite addressable with a cochlear implant. The parents refused it because deafness is a valid lifestyle.

    look those are bad stories, there are also funny ones too, like the 8 year old complaining to Mrs Entropy about how noisy her parents get late at night.

    I don’t want to give the impression all deaf parents can be like this, and this is a digression from the article though, so apologies Appleinsider



    Anyway, if you don’t want to wait for this to show up on Apple TV+, watch La Famille Bélier, although the family run a French farm rather than a fishing business. I suspect it is essentially the same story and very good, and very funny, and everyone is very lovable. It’s still funny in subtitles if you’re wondering.
    iTunes link
    Thanks for the info. 
    Yup, people are … strange. 
  • Reply 9 of 9
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,072member
    entropys said:
    Deaf culture is a belief that deafness is not a disability, but can be a valid way of life.  To an extent that is true until it prevents intervention, or gets promoted to a person’s detriment. Like any strong belief system I guess.  
    I won’t discuss the worst example I have heard, and leave it to your imagination, but not too different to the worst end of the spectrum of appalling things any sort of parent could do in regard to raising children. I will give you one though: two deaf parents, child also hearing impaired, but quite addressable with a cochlear implant. The parents refused it because deafness is a valid lifestyle.

    look those are bad stories, there are also funny ones too, like the 8 year old complaining to Mrs Entropy about how noisy her parents get late at night.

    I don’t want to give the impression all deaf parents can be like this, and this is a digression from the article though, so apologies Appleinsider



    Anyway, if you don’t want to wait for this to show up on Apple TV+, watch La Famille Bélier, although the family run a French farm rather than a fishing business. I suspect it is essentially the same story and very good, and very funny, and everyone is very lovable. It’s still funny in subtitles if you’re wondering.
    iTunes link
    Thank you for a great thought provoking post.  

    As an aside, I have been surprised that Apple with it’s reach, has not picked up more international television shows...so much talent and I think it would give AppleTV a niche not exploited by other streaming services, the only exception has been Netflix’s Spanish language shows but really this could be improved upon.
    byronl
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