With IFC not in contention when it comes to putting up huge sums of P&A, with SPC already working with a full slate, and both Fox Searchlight and Focus Features with no leg room this fall, it appears that Roadside Attractions, the 6-8 title per year indie distributor, might have put up the most lucrative offer. With strong critical support from Sundance, Roadside successfully launched Winter’s Bone this summer and will appropriately handle the Gothams and Indie Spirits Awards, but Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful is a different creature.
The subtitled film has a top five Oscar nomination performance in Javier Bardem – but the key reason why the top tier distributors didn’t make room on their slates, might have to do with not the foreign language aspect but the mixed reviews it got while in Cannes (here’s my press conference vid). As it wasn’t going to head to its North American Toronto Int. Film Festival premiere without a backer, we should expect this deal to include a P&A commitment that will be put in place for an Oscar bid in the Best Actor category. With nothing on their future slate, and only the Granik film worth pushing, Roadside might be a good fit if Summit isn’t interested.