Utopia Buys ‘The Sweet East,’ Road Movie With Talia Ryder, Simon Rex, Ayo Edebiri and Jacob Elordi
Posted by Veronique on July 31st, 2023

Utopia has acquired North American rights to “The Sweet East,” a contemporary travelogue that marks the feature directing debut of Sean Price Williams. The sale comes after the film debuted at Director’s Fortnight during the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Williams has a reputation as one of the most talented cinematographers in the independent film space, having previously worked with the likes of the Safdie Brothers, Alex Ross Perry, Michael Almereyda, Abel Ferrara and Albert Maysles. Here, he brings a script by cult film critic Nick Pinkerton to the screen.

Critics hailed the film as fresh and often funny, while praising the performance of Talia Ryder, who played a key supporting role in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.” In “The Sweet East,” she plays Lillian, who runs away while on a school trip, encountering everyone from white supremacists and Islamic radicals to neo-punks and woke avant-gardists. The film also stars Simon Rex (“Red Rocket”), Earl Cave (“True History of the Kelly Gang”), Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”), Jeremy O. Harris (“Emily in Paris”), Jacob Elordi (“Euphoria”) and Rish Shah (“Do Revenge”).

“Much in the spirit of the making of ‘The Sweet East,’ Utopia offers a daring partnership for further exploring the possibilities of indie film distribution,” Williams said. “We greatly look forward to collaborating with this progressive film distributor as the current state of cinema and distribution require a new vision.”

Utopia is eyeing a fall release in the U.S. “The Sweet East” recently screened as part of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and was also just announced as an official selection of the 2023 Melbourne International Film Festival.

“Long celebrated for his cinematography, Sean Price Williams shows his mastery as an auteur in his own right with ‘The Sweet East,’ his distinctly nonconformist odyssey of modern America,” said Danielle DiGiacomo, Utopia’s head of content. “Utopia is honored to take on his long-awaited debut and collaborate on a release that will be remembered as a seminal work of our time.”

A production of Marathon Street and Base 12, “The Sweet East” is produced by Craig Butta, Alex Coco and Alex Ross Perry; executive produced by Jimmy Kaltreider and David Kaplan, with cinematography by Willams and editing by Stephen Gurewitz.

This deal was negotiated by DiGiacomo on behalf of Utopia, and Laura Nacher of The Match Factory and Craig Butta on behalf of the filmmakers.

Source: variety.com

The Sweet East

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