Farewell, The: Wedding Dramedy at 2019 Sundance Film Fest

The wedding dramedy The Farewell should close a deal with indie studio A24 after its premiere this week at the Sundance Film Fest.

The pact is for worldwide rights and rumored to be in the $6 million range.

The Farewell stars breakout star Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), a Chinese-American woman who travels back to China to visit her ailing grandmother.

While there, she discovers a family plot to keep grandma in the dark about her own terminal diagnosis, and agrees to help stage a fake wedding to give the matriarch one last hurrah.

The film drew interest from Amazon and Netflix, but the asking price was high and, in the case of Netflix, the filmmakers wanted major theatrical release.

Interested bidders were only allowed to make a pitch to the producers if they were willing to commit $2.5 million for domestic rights.

A24 sold “Native Son” and “Share” to HBO Films, two movies that entered the festival with theatrical distribution, and will now debut on the cable channel. The studio won an Oscar for “Moonlight” and had a hit last summer with “Eighth Grade” and “Hereditary.” However, some of its other more recent films, which include “Mid90s” and “Lean on Pete,” failed to connect with audiences.

Lulu Wang served as writer and director on the project. Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong and Jiang Yongbo costar. Producers include Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng and Wang. Eddie Ruben served as executive producer.

Awkwafina’s dance card has exploded in the past year. She’ll next appear in the YouTube original series “Weird City” from Jordan Peele’s Monkey Paw Productions, is in development for her own TV series at Comedy Central, and appears in another Sundance title, “Paradise Hills,” alongside Emma Roberts.

She’ll also join the sequel to Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” co-starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart.

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