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Sony Classics acquires ‘Austenland’

Austenland, the Sundance Film Festival entry starring Keri Russell as an obsessive Jane Austen fan who spends her life savings to visit a “fantasy camp” in England that recreates the period’s gender and social mores, was acquired by Sony Pictures. Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, JJ Feild, and Bret McKenzie also star.

“We loved making this movie and were fortunate enough to screen it at Sundance,” said producer Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and director Jerusha Hess in a joint statement. “The fact that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Sony Pictures Classics has chosen to distribute Austenland is beyond our wildest dreams — they treat their films with the utmost care, and we are thrilled to be associated with such a prestigious distributor.”

Based on the novel by Shannon Hale, Austenland is the first film from Hess, who co-wrote her husband’s Sundance smash, Napoleon Dynamite. “Basically, a bunch of Mormon ladies sat around and made a movie together,” said Meyer on Friday night after the film premiered at Eccles Theater in Park City, Utah.