The documentary Young @ Heart won an Audience Award for international features this weekend at Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) and now it's just locked up a North American theatrical distribution deal with Fox Searchlight. The deal, which was finalized Sunday night, is estimated to be worth about $2 million. Young @ Heart is a documentary about a choral group of senior citizens who cover an eclectic mix of popular songs. (Apparently their repertoire includes The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated.") Although the choral group is located in Massachusetts, the film is actually a British production, directed by Stephen Walker. As Monika Bartyzel noted last month, Working Title Films has already picked up the rights to remake the movie as a feature film. Perhaps if they age Bill Nighy a bit ...

Fox Searchlight reported that Young @ Heart is the distribution company's first documentary in more than ten years -- my guess is that the previous doc was Al Pacino's Looking for Richard from 1996. However, even though the indie-film arm of Fox isn't accustomed to handling documentaries, it seems capable of bringing box-office success to the film. As Anne Thompson noted on her Variety blog, Fox Searchlight has been doing quite well lately -- Waitress (which you should all go see if you haven't) has earned $16 million thus far in release, for example. The studio is also behind the upcoming Wes Anderson release, The Darjeeling Limited. And then there's that Little Miss Sunshine movie they released last year, which I believe is considered a hit. Young @ Heart is tentatively scheduled for a Spring 2008 release.
categories Movies, Cinematical