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Sundance Alerts: The Buzz From Park City

 

As the Sundance Film Festival enters its mid-way point and there is an obvious thinning in the ranks of both celebrities and professionals, here is a rundown of some of the buzz, information and deals that are making noise in Park City this week.

FILMMAKER MAGAZINE OFFERS NO GLITZ SUNDANCE COVERAGE

If you believed what you read in most newspapers and see on television entertainment magazines, Sundance seems to exist merely as a playground for fabulous celebrities where they can let their hair down. Of course, Sundance is much more than that....a serious event actually, where unknown filmmakers bring their latest films for assessment by savvy audiences and Filmmaker Magazine is offering a very comprehensive coverage of the Sundance Film Festival from the point of view of new and established filmmakers who have brought their latest works for public and professional review. Avoiding glitzy celebrity coverage or obsessive concentration on dealmaking, they are offering substantive coverage of the news, events and personalities that make up the indie atmosphere in Park City. To follow the coverage, log on to: http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/sundance/sundance2011/

SHORT FILM WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The Sundance Film Festival announced its first set of winners with prizes for short films being screened in competition here. American writer/director Matt Piedmont won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking for BRICK NOVAX PART 1 and 2. Australian writer/director Ariel Kleiman was the winner of the Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking for DEEPER THAN YESTERDAY. Judging the short films in competition were director Barry Jenkins (MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY), film critic Kim Morgan and HBO Documentary Films executive Sara Bernstein.

FOX SEARCHLIGHT ON A MAJOR BUYING SPREE

Fox Searchlight Films, the speciality division of Twentienth Century Fox, has been one of the most active distributor buyers here. In the past few days, the company has secured distribution rights of such films as ANOTHER EARTH, a sci-fi romance by debut director Mike Cahill; the Goldcrest Films British romance HOMEWORK starring Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts; and MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, a powerful drama about a disturbed woman who leaves the community of  a cult leader played by John Hawkes (Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for WINTER'S BONE). The company has also picked up the remake rights to THE BENGALI DETECTIVE.

MORE SUNDANCE DISTRIBUTION DEALS

IFC Films acquired U.S. rights to writer-director Matthew Chapman’s suicide drama THE LEDGE, starring Liv Tyler, Terrence Howard, Charlie Hunnnam and Patrick Wilson. The film, produced by Mark Damon,  polarized audiences and critics here when it premiered in the Independents Dramatic Competition. IFC and Sundance Selects also announced the pick-up of North American rights to Cindy Meehl’s popular "horse whisperer" documentary BUCK, which is competing in the documentary section. Sony Pictures Classics have acquired the US and Latin American rights to THE GUARD, an action comedy written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, starring Brendon Gleason and Don Cheadle. Magnolia Films has picked up rights to the documentary PAGE ONE, a behind-the-scenes look at the New York Times, directed by Andrew Rossi. The company also secured distribution to p the rights to Mark Pellington’s I MELT WITH YOU, an ensemble drama starring Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino and Sasha Grey. The Weinstein Company has picked up worldwide rights to THE DETAILS, a dark comedy starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney, set in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Circuit Editor 

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About Festival Circuit

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Coverage of the world of film festivals on the international film festival circuit.


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