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Apple to release CODA online and in cinemas this August

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Staff Writer

Apple will release Sundance award winner CODA online and in cinemas this August.

Written and directed by Siân Heder (Tallulah, Little America), CODA took home four prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It stars Emilia Jones (Locke & Key), Eugenio Derbez (The Casagrandes), Troy Kotsur (The Number 23), Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Vikings), Daniel Durant (Switched at Birth), Amy Forsyth (Beautiful Boy), Kevin Chapman (City on a Hill), and Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God).

It follows 17-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones), who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family — a CODA, child of deaf adults. Her life revolves around acting as interpreter for her parents (Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur) and working on the family’s struggling fishing boat every day before school with her father and older brother (Daniel Durant). But when Ruby joins her high school’s choir club, she discovers a gift for singing and soon finds herself drawn to her duet partner Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo). Encouraged by her enthusiastic, tough-love choirmaster (Eugenio Derbez) to apply to a prestigious music school, Ruby finds herself torn between the obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams.

The film will be released in cinemas and on Apple TV+ on Friday 13th August.

Apple picks up CODA in record Sundance deal

31st January 2021

Apple has picked up the worldwide rights to CODA in a record deal at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Things are looking different for this year’s Utah fest, with the whole thing taking place virtually – but geolocked for audiences only in the USA. However, one thing remains the same: the event is still a major marketplace for streamers looking to pick up the next big indie hit. Last year, Hulu snapped up the US rights to Palm Springs (coming soon to Amazon Prime Video in the UK) for $22.5 million. Now, that record has been smashed by Apple’s acquisition of CODA this weekend, which just passed $25 million.

Deadline reports that Apple and Amazon were in heated competition to bag the film, which is written and directed by Sian Heder (Tallulah). Based on 2014 French film La Famille Belier, It follows a high school senior who is the only hearing person in her deaf family (the title is short for “Child of Deaf Adults”). Aged 17, she works mornings before school to help her parents and brother keep their Gloucester fishing business afloat. But in joining her high school’s choir club, Ruby finds herself drawn to both her duet partner and her latent passion for singing. Her enthusiastic, tough-love choirmaster hears something special and encourages Ruby to consider music school and a future beyond fishing, leaving her torn between obligation to family and pursuit of her dream.

Emilia Jones stars, alongside Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant, Eugenio Derbez, Marlee Matlin and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.

The deal was brokered by CAA Media Finance and ICM Partners and Pathe and marks a statement of intent by Apple TV+ heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who last year snapped up Sundance documentary Boys State, which is likely to be a contender in this year’s awards race.

Heder told Deadline: “I have been so moved by the outpouring of response to the film and am so excited to have found a partner in Apple that loves and deeply gets this movie, the spirit in which it was created and is committed to having this film reach the widest audience possible in a thoughtful and meaningful way. The whole CODA team is also so grateful to Sundance for being a part of the film’s journey. I hope that this film and Apple’s powerful support will help kick down some doors standing in the way of inclusion and representation and pave a path for more stories that centre characters from the deaf and disabled community. The world has waited too long for these stories to be told. Now is the time. No more excuses.”

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