Fullscreen Acquires ‘First Girl I Loved’ Lesbian Love Story, Plans Limited Theatrical Release for Sundance Winner

Todd Spangler

Fullscreen looks to be angling to get into the awards-season footrace — at least in a small indie way. The digital multiplatform network has acquired rights to teen lesbian love story “First Girl I Loved,” winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival’s Next Audience Award, and next week will launch limited theatrical screenings of the film.

The company, majority owned by AT&T and Chernin Group’s Otter Media joint venture, has set Oct. 18, 2016, for day-and-date digital and limited theatrical release. Starting this December, “First Girl I Loved” will stream exclusively on Fullscreen’s $4.99-per-month subscription VOD service.

The film stars Dylan Gelula (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Brianna Hildebrand (“Deadpool”), along with Mateo Arias (“Kickin’ It”), Cameron Esposito (“Maron”), Tim Heidecker (“Tim & Eric”), and Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”). “First Girl I Loved” was directed by Kerem Sanga and produced by Seth Caplan, David Hunter, and Ross Putman.

The L.A.-set film centers on artsy teen Anne (Gelula), who falls in love with Sasha (Hildebrand), star athlete and the most popular girl in school. But when Anne tells her best friend Clifton (Arias), he reacts with jealousy — and he does his best to get in the way.

The It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit org that provides support to LGBTQ young people, is serving as a promotional partner on the film alongside the Sundance Institute.

“For me, this is a movie about the real emotional challenges teenagers experience on a daily basis — and both Fullscreen and It Gets Better immediately understood how it might speak to young people from around the country and the world,” said director Kerem Sanga.

CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers alongside attorney Bradley Garrett of Cohen & Garden, while Fullscreen’s Thanasis Tsiris negotiated on behalf of the distributor. The film is a PSH Collective production in association with Whitewater Films, Tilted Windmill Productions, Bee-Hive Prods. and Blacklist Digital.

Fullscreen launched its SVOD service, available on the web, iPhone, iPad, select Android phones, Google Chromecast and Apple TV, launched in April 2016. The ad-free service includes scripted and unscripted original shows, TV and film content licensed from studio partners, as well as short-form content from digital creators. Fullscreen originals include “Electra Woman & Dyna Girl,” “Filthy Preppy Teen$,” “Jack & Dean of All Trades,” “Keeping Score,” the daily sketch and pop culture series “Party in the Back,” as well as talk shows “Shane & Friends” hosted by Shane Dawnson, “Zall Good with Alexis G. Zall” and “Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig.”

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