In the second sale on Friday at the Sundance Film Festival — and, like the deal for "Searching for Sugar Man," another pact for a documentary— Magnolia Pictures has bought North American theatrical rights to the Lauren Greenfield documentary "The Queen of Versailles."
The movie follows developer David Siegel, his wife, Jackie, and their family as the Siegels build a 90,000-square-foot Florida home modeled after the palace outside of Paris. Greenfield, best known as a photographer of adolescent girls, previously directed "Thin" and "Kids + Money." The film's description in Sundance press materials generated a lawsuit by Siegel, the president and chief executive of Westgate Resorts, saying that the Sundance blurb defamed him. But what he says in the movie may contradict what he claims in the lawsuit.
" 'The Queen of Versailles' brilliantly encapsulates the salient issues of the American economic downturn, while also being one of the most jaw-droppingly entertaining films I’ve seen in a very long time,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said in a statement. “Lauren Greenfield is an exceptionally talented filmmaker with a wonderfully humanistic touch, and she has found a truly magnetic, charismatic star in Jackie Siegel.”
Terms of the deal were not announced.
— John Horn
Photo: Jackie Siegel in "The Queen of Versailles." Credit: Lauren Greenfield.