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Sundance Stalwart Steven Soderbergh’s New Thriller ‘Presence’ Selling To Neon; Lucy Liu Stars In David Koepp-Scripted Pic After Park City Premiere

EXCLUSIVE: The Steven Soderbergh-directed and David Koepp-scripted ghost story Presence is being acquired at Sundance by Neon.

The deal comes 35 years after Soderbergh’s $1 million Sundance deal for sex, lies, & videotape and subsequent Palme d’Or win at Cannes followed by a box office gross of $25 million, helped galvanize independent film into a viable business. It seems poetic he would return with a film for the 40th edition of Sundance, and make a major deal there.

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I haven’t got a deal number to share, but there were about 10 bidders so it’s a healthy sum for a thriller that has gotten uniformly strong reviews at the festival.

In Presence, a family moves into a suburban house and becomes convinced they are not alone. A supernatural force has infiltrated the house, and taken a specific interest in the couple’s daughter. The picture is shot entirely in a single location, which creates the haunting mood sought by the filmmakers. Lucy Liu stars with Chris Sullivan, Callina Liang, Julia Fox, Eddy Maday and West Mulholland. The film is produced by Julie M. Anderson and Ken Meyer, and the executive producers are Koepp, Corey Bayes, with H.H. Cooper co-producing and Gus Gustafson, Samara Levenstein, Claire Kenny the associate producers.

The film premiered last Friday at the Library Theatre, and quickly established itself as a movie that was going to find a home quickly.

Tom Quinn’s Neon walks out of Sundance with a buzzy title on a day when its film Anatomy of A Fall landed five Oscar nominations today, including Best Picture.

Michael Sugar of Sugar23 brokered the deal with attorney Jamie Feldman and producer Ken Meyer.

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