2 June 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Apple purchases John Carney's Flora and Son following Sundance Film Festival debut
25 Jan 2023 : Nathan Griffin
Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon Levitt in Flora and Son
Apple Original Films has acquired the worldwide rights to John Carney’s new feature film Flora and Son, following the musical drama’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday.

According to Screen Daily, the fee is believed to be somewhere in the region of $20 million, a figure that allegedly increased significantly due to a bidding war between major streamers including Apple and Amazon.

Starring Irish actors Eve Hewson (Bad Sisters), Kelly Thornton (Clean Break), Jack Reynor (What Richard Did), and breakout Orén Kinlan opposite American star Joseph Gordon Levitt, Carney's film follows "Flora, a single mom who is at war with her son, Max. Trying to find a hobby for Max, she rescues a guitar from a dumpster and finds that one person's trash can be a family's salvation". The film has been praised for its use of a heart-warming musical narrative to tell a small-scale human story.

Carney is best known for his Oscar-winning feature film OnceBegin Again, and Sing Street, and more recently for his work on Amazon Prime Video’s series Modern Love, for which he directed seven episodes.

Shot on location in Dublin last summer, Flora and Son is produced by Rebecca O’Flanagan and Robert Walpole for Irish production company Treasure Entertainment (Handsome DevilSmother) and Anthony Bregman and Peter Cron for Likely Story and Distressed Films.

The film is supported by Screen Ireland in association with FilmNation, Fifth Season, Likely Stor and Distressed Films. Sales are handled by FilmNation.

The filmed premiered at Sundance on Sunday to positive reviews with Kate Erbland of IndieWire called it "a cozy Irish musical about the ways in which music can bond people together, the joy of creation, and the pleasure of someone unpacking their soul, all with that lovely Irish lilt... Where [Carney] takes Flora and Son might be his most satisfying conclusion yet”.

The film becomes Apple’s latest acquisition from the prestigious festival following Audience, Directing, and Special Jury Award winner CODA in 2021, which went on to win last year’s Best Motion Picture award at the Oscars.

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