Apple Nabs Cooper Raiff’s ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ Out of Sundance

Cooper Raiff’s “Cha Cha Real Smooth” is officially dancing to Apple TV Plus. The tech giant and growing streamer has nabbed the second feature from the heat-seeking director out of this year’s virtual edition of the Sundance Film Festival.

Apple emerged victorious from a competitive bidding market that had attracted Netflix, Amazon and Sony Pictures as potential buyers.

The deal was brokered by Endeavor Content with a sale closing as high as $15 million, an individual familiar with the talks stated.

“Cha Cha Real Smooth” stars Raiff as a recent graduate working as a bar mitzvah hype man. While on the job, he strikes up a unique friendship with a young mother (Dakota Johnson) and her teenage daughter (Vanessa Burghardt). Leslie Mann, Evan Assante, Raúl Castillo and Odeya Rush fill out the ensemble.

Erik Feige’s PictureStart produced the film, which walked into this year’s Sundance Film Festival as one of the buzziest sales titles looking for a distributor. Raiff’s 2020 debut “Shithouse” won the grand jury prize at the SXSW Film Festival, placing the writer-director on the map.

The price tag on “Cha Cha Real Smooth” represents the highest purchase yet for this year’s virtual Sundance market. Last year, Apple also signed a large check for “CODA” with a $25 million purchase, a record-breaking sum for a Sundance title. Additional titles that have found distributors at this year’s Sundance include “Fire of Love” and “The Territory” to National Geographic, “Living” to Sony Pictures Classics and “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” to Searchlight and Hulu.

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