Blue Fox Entertainment has acquired the international rights to the pair’s secret pandemic film. News of the acquisition comes only a few months after “Language Lessons” made an eye-catching debut at the Berlin Festival and won an Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.
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The global distributor plans to introduce it to buyers at the upcoming Cannes virtual market. Shout! Studios snagged the North American rights to the film earlier this year.
“Language Lessons” follows Duplass’ Adam, who is gifted a year’s worth of weekly, virtual Spanish lessons by his husband. Morales plays his teacher Cariño, who becomes a lifeline for Adam when tragedy strikes. The two form an unexpected and complicated emotional bond throughout the film.
It marks Morales’ directorial debut, and was developed, written and shot by the two leads in secret during the pandemic. The pair had previously worked together on the HBO series “Room 104.”
“We love the creative format used by Natalie and Mark which succeeds in being intimate, emotional and poignant,” said Blue Fox’s James Huntsman in unveiling the deal.
Even though the film was shot during COVID-19 using a skeletal crew, Morales and Duplass made the decision to exclude any mention of the pandemic.
“There was a moment where we had to decide whether or not to include that in the story — when I’m walking around outdoors do you see us wearing masks? Ultimately, we wanted the movie to live in any time and not in a specific time. It felt more evergreen to make it that way,” Morales told Variety earlier this year.
“Language Lessons” is a Duplass Brothers Production, and was produced by Mel Eslyn. Duplass executive produces alongside Morales and his brother Jay Duplass. Will Dowsett and Ashley Edouard are on board as co-producers. ICM Partners brokered the deal with Blue Fox.
Shout! is planning to give the film a theatrical launch in North America later this year.
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