April 6, 2021
Shout! Studios, the multi-platform distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, on April 6 announced it has acquired North American rights to the drama Language Lessons from Duplass Brothers Productions.
Starring and written by Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, Language Lessons, a platonic love story, marks the feature directorial debut of Morales and was produced by Mel Eslyn. The film premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.
Duplass plays Adam, whose husband surprises him with a gift of a year’s worth of weekly Spanish lessons. But when tragedy strikes, his teacher, Cariño (Morales), becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed and the two develop an unexpected and complicated emotional bond.
Shot in secret during the pandemic with a skeleton crew in Los Angeles and Costa Rica, Language Lessons received critical acclaim out of Berlin and SXSW.
Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America to Language Lessons, including theatrical, digital, video-on-demand, broadcast, and home entertainment for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios plans a strategic launch of this movie across all major entertainment platforms in North America, beginning with a theatrical launch later this year.
“We’ve been so humbled by the response to our little film, but it was Shout!’s unwavering passion and innovative strategy that won us over in the end,” Duplass said. “Can’t wait for this one!”
The movie deal was negotiated by Jessica Lacy at ICM Partners for Duplass Brothers Productions and Shout’s Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions, Julie Dansker, head of new content sales, and Steven Katz, VP of business affairs for Shout! Studios.
“Language Lessons is a masterfully acted, sharply crafted, and profoundly entertaining portrait of friendship by Natalie and Mark,” Fields said. “It leaves you hopeful that real human connection can blossom in the uncongenial world of screens.”
“I am thrilled to partner once again with Mark and Mel, iconic storytellers and filmmakers, on this award-winning and very special film,” added Dansker. “The performances from Mark and Natalie are amazing and we are so excited to share Natalie’s incredibly impressive and refreshing directorial debut with audiences.”
A production of Duplass Brothers Productions, Language Lessons was executive produced by Natalie Morales, Mark Duplass, and Jay Duplass. The film features original music by Gaby Moreno.