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Sundance: Amazon Buys Landline Starring Jenny Slate

Amazon Studios has nabbed U.S. rights to “Landline,” a family dramedy that reunites the “Obvious Child” team of Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre.

Amazon Studios has nabbed U.S. rights to “Landline,” a family dramedy that reunites the “Obvious Child” team of Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre.

The film unfolds in the pre-cellphone days of the 1990s. It co-stars Edie Falco, John Turturro, Jay Duplass and Abby Quinn. “Landline” centers on a dysfunctional Manhattan family. Slate plays a neurotic 30-something who is barreling towards a breakdown on the eve of her wedding. In a breakout performance, Quinn plays her high-school age sister, who is showing signs of teenage rebellion.

The sale continues Amazon’s torrid clip at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where “Landline” debuted to solid reviews last week. The streaming giant picked up “The Big Sick,” a comedy from “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani, in a massive $12 million pact. It also bought the Grateful Dead documentary “Long Strange Trip.”

The “Landline” pickup comes hours after Amazon became the first streaming service in history to score a best picture nomination for “Manchester by the Sea.” Amazon bought the drama out of Sundance in 2016.

This year’s Sundance has been dominated by Amazon and Netflix, another digital player that’s invested heavily in independent film. Netflix came to the festival with eight films, and has also been an active buyer, snapping up the rights to “Icarus,” “Chasing Coral,” and “Fun Mom Dinner.”

“Landline” will get a traditional theatrical release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but insiders peg it in the mid-seven figures. Robespierre co-wrote the film and produced it with Elisabeth Holm. Gigi Pritzker and her banner OddLot backed the film, along with Russell Levine on behalf of Route One Entertainment. It’s been a good morning for OddLot, which nabbed four Oscar nominations, including a best picture nod, for “Hell or High Water.”

UTA Independent Film Group negotiated the “Landline” deal. Foreign rights are still available through Nick Meyer at Sierra/Affinity.

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