Natalie Morales’ SXSW Winner ‘Language Lessons’ Finds U.S. Home At Shout! Studios

Shout! Studios has acquired North American rights to Language Lessons, the drama that marks the feature directing debut of Natalie Morales. She co-stars with Mark Duplass, who also penned the script. The pic, which had its world premiere at this year’s Berlin Film Festival and won an audience award at SXSW, will now hit theaters and additional platforms later this year as part of the deal that includes digital, VOD, broadcast, and home entertainment rights.

The film centers on Adam (Duplass), 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.

The Duplass Brothers Productions pic was shot with a small crew during the pandemic in Los Angeles and Costa Rica. Mel Eslyn produced it, and Morales, Duplass and Jay Duplass are executive producers.

ICM Partners’ Jessica Lacy negotiated the deal for Duplass Brothers Productions with Shout’s Jordan Fields, Julie Dansker and Steven Katz.

“Shout! has held a special place in my heart, way back since their release of my first show, The Middleman. What can I say? They’ve always had a good eye, and they’ve always been supportive of the little guy,” Morales said. “I’m thrilled that they’re the ones who will bring this movie about connection to larger audiences in a time where I think we could all use it.”

Added Jordan Fields, VP Acquisitions at Shout! Studios: “Language Lessons is a masterfully acted, sharply crafted, and profoundly entertaining portrait of friendship by Natalie and Mark. It leaves you hopeful that real human connection can blossom in the uncongenial world of screens.”

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