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Roadside Attractions and Vertical have acquired The Pod Generation

Emilia Clarke, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rosalie Craig appear in a still from The Pod Generation by Sophie Barthes, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrij Parekh.

Marking their sixth collaboration (Emily the Criminal, Benediction, The Forgiven, The Desperate Hour, Alice), Roadside Attractions and Vertical have acquired North American rights to Sophie Barthes’ futuristic fable The Pod Generation, Sundance 2023’s Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize winner. Directed by Barthes (Madame Bovary, Cold Souls) from her original screenplay, the film stars Emmy-nominated Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Academy Award-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Rosalie Craig (Netflix’s 1899), Vinette Robinson (Boiling Point), and Jean-Marc Barr (Big Sur). The film is slated for a Summer 2023 exclusive theatrical release.

Barthes’ third feature film is set in the very near future world where AI is all the rage and technology has trumped nature in nearly every aspect of life. The Pod Generation follows Rachel (Clarke) and Alvy (Ejiofor), a New York couple who are ready to start a family. As a rising tech company executive, Rachel lands a coveted spot at the Womb Center, which offers couples the opportunity to share pregnancy on a more equal footing by way of mobile, artificial wombs, or pods. Alvy, a botanist and devoted purist about the natural environment, has doubts, but his love for Rachel prompts him to take a leap of faith. And so, begins the wild ride on their tech-paved path to parenthood.

Hillary saw the film at Sundance 2023 and said it was “a worthy watch.”

Roadside Attractions’ Co-Presidents Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff remarked, “Sophie Barthes has an extraordinary ability to create films that use alternate realities to hold a mirror to the way we live now and where we may be in the not-to-distant future. Emilia and Chiwetel deliver incredible performances balancing humor and heart portraying a couple at odds with the path the Big Tech Overlords have set for them.”

Vertical Partner Peter Jarowey commented, “AI is still the great unknown but as it weaves into our daily lives more rapidly, Sophie’s story could become a reality sooner than we think. And that’s what makes the film so captivating. Audiences will love it and be talking about it long after they leave the theater.”

Writer and director Barthes noted, “Today, every filmmaker dreams to have a theatrical release. Roadside Attractions and Vertical have made this dream possible. The Pod Generation could not have found a better home, with such a dedicated, innovative and experienced team. I’m thrilled to start this adventure with a team truly in love with cinema and share with audiences on a large screen the playful and puzzling futuristic world we created.”

The film is produced by Geneviève Lemal, Yann Zenou, Nadia Kamlichi, and Martin Metz. Executive producers are Clarke, Barthes, David Bensadoun, Paul Nelson, Adrian Politowski, Nessa McGill, Sierra Garcia, Nathanaël Karmitz, and Beniamin Mincu. The below-the-line production team includes cinematographer Andrij Parekh, production designer Clement Price-Thomas, editors Ron Patane and Olivier Bugge-Coutté with costumes by Emmanuelle Youchnovski, music by Sacha Galperine, Evgueni Galperine and casting by Dixie Chassay, Mathias Sourbon and Nicolas Ronchi.

Jarowey and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal on behalf of Vertical; Cohen, d’Arbeloff and Vice President of Acquisitions Angel An negotiated the deal on behalf of Roadside Attractions; and CAA Media Finance together with MK2 Films negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

MK2 Films is handling international sales.

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