Producers of ‘Nomadland,’ ‘I Carry You With Me’ Sign First-Look Deal With Topic

Topic Studios has signed a first-look deal with The Population, formed by “Nomadland” producer Mollye Asher, “I Carry You With Me” producer Mynette Louie and Derek Nguyen.

The deal, announced Thursday, expands the relationship between Topic and Louie, currently collaborating on a scripted limited drama series for television.

Topic Studios produced the ACLU documentary “The Fight,” Kevin Macdonald’s upcoming legal thriller “The Mauritanian,”  “The Climb” and recently wrapped production on Daniel Antebi’s NYC-set pandemic comedy “God’s Time.” Topic Studios is also ramping up its scripted television division, having set up two dramas arising from their previous first-look deal with Tracy Oliver, including the just-announced adult thriller “Savannah” with PKM Productions for Amazon Studios. Topic Studios is also developing an English-language adaptation of the Israeli comedy, “Nehama.”

“We love that Topic Studios, as an independent studio, has the capacity to pivot and innovate, which is more important now than ever,” said Louie, Asher and Nguyen. “This flexibility, plus Topic Studios’ dedication to supporting creators’ visions no matter the genre or format, make them the perfect partner for The Population.”

Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” is a top contender for awards in the coming months. It’s the first film to win the top prizes at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. It also won best film, best director and best cinematography at the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards and is nominated for best feature at the 2021 Gotham Independent Spirit Awards, along with Frances McDormand for best actress. Asher, McDormand and Zhao produced the film along with Peter Spears and Dan Janvey.

The Population’s first two films, “I Carry You With Me ” from director Heidi Ewing, won both the NEXT Innovator and Audience Awards at Sundance 2020, and the Gotham Award-nominated Swallow from director Carlo Mirabella-Davis. The shingle is currently in post-production on Josef Kubota Wladyka’s action-thriller “Catch the Fair One.”

Before the trio joined forces to launch The Population, Louie, Asher and Nguyen worked together at the women director-focused film fund Gamechanger Films, which Louie ran. Asher’s credits include Gotham Award and Cannes Directors Fortnight winner “The Rider,” SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner “Fort Tilden” and Berlinale winner “She’s Lost Control.” Louie’s credits include recent Amazon Studios release “Black Box,” “The Tale,” Sitges top prize winner “The Invitation” and Spirit Award winner “Land Ho!” Nguyen is currently producing “Grave Hill,” an adaptation of his Vietnamese horror film “The Housemaid,” which he wrote and directed.

“Topic Studios has a great track record of working with top talent across multiple formats and successfully supporting creators as they explore new mediums,” said Maria Zuckerman, Topic’s executive vice president. “In this spirit, we couldn’t be more excited and thrilled to collaborate with the gifted storytellers of The Population.”

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