Sundance: Electric Entertainment Takes Int’l On John Slattery Debut ‘God’s Pocket’

gods pocketThe directorial debut from Mad Men‘s John Slattery is going global with Dean Devlin‘s Electric Entertainment, which acquired international rights to the Sundance drama following its in-competition premiere last week. Slattery directs Mad Men co-star Christina Hendricks alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, and Caleb Landry Jones in the buzzy film about a man who tries to cover up the accidental death of his stepson in a blue collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Slattery, who previously got behind the camera for episodes of Mad Men, adapted the pic with Alex Metcalf from the 1983 novel by Pete Dexter (The Paperboy). Electric Entertainment won the title in Park City where Devlin was in hot pursuit following its world premiere, while IFC is taking U.S. rights.

Related: Sundance: IFC Near Deal On ‘God’s Pocket’ By ‘Mad Men’s John Slattery

God’s Pocket marks the first pickup for international for Electric Entertainment’s international sales division, which launched at AFM last year. Read More »

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Sundance: A24 Acquiring J.C. Chandor-Helmed ‘A Most Violent Year’ With Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain

Mike Fleming

chandUPDATE:  A24 had just confirmed Deadline’s scoop. I’ll attach press release at the bottom of this post.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 am PST: Coming into Sundance, many expected big things for upstart distribution company A24, and the label hasn’t … Read More »

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Sundance: Sony Classics Acquires Road Trip Comedy ‘Land Ho!’

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 9:26am PST

LandHo!Park City, Utah (January 22, 2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced this morning that it has secured worldwide rights to Martha Stephens & Aaron Katz’s bawdy road trip comedy LAND HO!, which premiered on Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. SPC plans to release the film nationwide in 2014.

The film is produced by Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy, and Christina Jennings, and executive produced by Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608David Gordon Green, and Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, and Wendy Ettinger of Gamechanger Films. LAND HO! is the first film to be financed by Gamechanger, which launched last fall to exclusively finance features directed and co-directed by women.

Starring Paul Eenhoorn (THIS IS MARTIN BONNER) and newcomer Earl Lynn Nelson, LAND HO! follows a pair of retirees who set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites.

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Sundance: Short Film Winners Announced

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 10:06pm PST

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Sundance Institute tonight presented jury prizes and honorable mentions in short filmmaking at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The Short Film Grand Jury Prize went to Of God And Dogs, about a Syrian soldier who confesses to killing a man he knew was innocent. This year’s Short Film program comprised 66 short films selected from a record 8,161 submissions. In addition to this evening’s ceremony, other films in other competition categories will be honored Saturday at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony. Those January 25 awards will be hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally — both of whom have films at Sundance this year.  In the meantime, check out the full list of short film winners and honorees here: Read More »

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Sundance: IFC Near Deal On ‘God’s Pocket’ By ‘Mad Men’s John Slattery

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 8:18pm PST
Mike Fleming

pockeEXCLUSIVE: Capping a rocking day for deals at the Sundance Film Festival, IFC Films is closing a deal to acquired God’s Pocket, the directorial debut of Mad Men star John Slattery. The black comedy stars Philip Read More »

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Sundance: ‘Nymphomaniac Part 1′ Is Tonight’s Mystery Screening

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 8:17pm PST

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608nymphomaniacThe rumor is true: Nymphomaniac Part 1, The first salvo in Danish provocateur Lars von Trier‘s epic sex-o-rama, has been revealed as the surprise film showing tonight at Sundance. The … Read More »

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Slamdance: ‘Magic Mike’s Joe Manganiello’s Male Strip Docu ‘La Bare’ Is Well Endowed By Main Street Films Distribution Deal

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 6:29pm PST
Mike Fleming

joemEXCLUSIVE: Main Street Films has acquired distribution rights to La Bare, a documentary directed by Joe Manganiello about the history, lives and culture of the world’s most popular male strip club, La Bare Dallas. Manganiello, who played Big Dick Richie alongside … Read More »

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Sundance: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Sony Pictures Worldwide Pay $3.5 Million For ‘Skeleton Twins’

Mike Fleming

skeltwinsIn separate deals that add up to $3.5 million and likely the biggest total so far for a film at the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions bought domestic rights, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought the rest of the … Read More »

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Sundance: Sundance Institute Reveals Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award Recipients

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 5:15pm PST

Sundance Institute logoPARK CITY, UT — Sundance Institute and Mahindra today announced the winners of the 2014 Sundance Institute |Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The winning directors and projects are Hong Khaou, MONSOON from Vietnam/UK; Tobias Lindholm, A WAR from Denmark; Ashlee Page, ARCHIVE from Australia; and Neeraj Ghaywan, FLY AWAY SOLO from India.

The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, currently underway in Park City, Utah.

Now in its fourth year, the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is part of a multifaceted collaboration that exemplifies a commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and to social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

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Sundance: Sundance Institute Pulls Back Curtain On Global Short-Film Challenge

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 4:15pm PST

sundance-headerPark City, UT — Sundance Institute, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today announced a new project that will harness the power of independent film to create a global conversation about extreme hunger and poverty. The Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge will spur the production of documentary and narrative films – through a global open call for three-to-eight-minute submissions – that will celebrate imaginative solutions real people are creating to overcome the challenges of extreme hunger and poverty.

The project supports Sundance Institute’s mission to empower independent storytellers and connect their work to communities around. The Institute is working with Tongal.com to manage the online call for entries. Winning films will receive a $10,000 grant and premiere at a private event at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Users can submit through July 1, 2014. There is no fee to apply. More information can be found at www.tongal.com/sundance.

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Sundance: Lionsgate Acquires Rights To ‘Cooties’

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 3:49pm PST

CootiesLionsgate has officially acquired North American rights to Cooties, the SpectreVision and Glacier Films comedic horror pic that debuted in the Midnight section on Saturday in Park City. The directorial debut of Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion was … Read More »

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Sundance Update: Fox Searchlight Lands Brendan Gleeson Pic ‘Calvary’

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 12:50pm PST
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 12:50 PM: Fox Searchlight has confirmed a deal for rights in the U.S. and select overseas territories for the black comedy/drama and plans a 2014 release. Check out the release after the main break.

PREVIOUS BREAKING, 10:29 AM: I’m hearing from the airport Calvaryhere that Calvary has sold to Fox Searchlight for $2.5 million. The Irish-UK pic starring Brendan Gleeson and directed by John Michael McDonagh co-stars Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, and Aidan Gillen. It screened Sunday in Park City in the fest’s Premieres section. Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608The pic centers on a priest (Gleeson) who one day is told by an unseen man that he’s going to kill him precisely because he’s done nothing wrong. Given a week to make his peace with God, the priest ministers to sundry lost souls — visits that double as a guided tour of suspects. His preparation for death is further complicated by the arrival of his daughter, who has recently attempted suicide. It recently was added to the Panorama sidebar at Berlin and will screen there next month. Read More »

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Sundance: Bruce Willis To Star In Action Pic ‘Vice’, Teaming Again With Emmett / Furla / Oasis Films

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 12:00pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE:  Lone Survivor producer Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films is set to produce willisand finance Vice, an Andre Fabrizio- and Jeremy Passmore-scripted futuristic action thriller that will star Bruce Willis. The $15 million-budget pic will be distributed by Grindstone/Lionsgate Films. The movie … Read More »

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Sundance: Producer Michael De Luca On ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Movie – More “Erotic”, Less “Explicit”

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Worry not Fifty Shades Of Grey fans: The movie of the book aims to give you what you want. “We’re very conscious of not making anything gratuitous or exploitive while being faithful to the stories of the book and to 5o9a0132the fans of the book,” said producer Michael De Luca this morning at the Sundance Film Festival. “We’re going to give them what they expect, which is an intense and erotic love story,” he added. “Obviously the film can’t be as explicit as the book,” De Luca noted. “A picture is worth a 1000 words. So to be erotic onscreen means I think an image is going to have way more power than reading the words on a page.”

Related: In Michael De Luca’s 1st Deal, Sony Acquires ‘The Director’ For Greengrass & Rudin

pga67__140108185018-275x154The soon to be president of Production for Columbia Pictures (he officially takes the reins March 1) was in Park City for the second annual PGA Breakfast. In a free-ranging discussion with Producers Guild national executive director Van Van Patten, De Luca mainly discussed his career history. But it was on Fifty Shades that things got steamy.

“Not to sound corny, but it is, at its heart, a young love story. I think those things always work,” he said of the blockbuster trilogy of books. “No matter what you think about the book, those things are in that story and they are very cinematic. I think people love a good love story and the these two characters endeared themselves to 90 million readers so it’s hard to say that it didn’t connect on a deeper level than just its more sensationalist aspects, but it was the love story that did it for me.” Read More »

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Chris Columbus’ Maiden Voyage Pictures Next Sets Sail For ‘Mediterranea’

Chris ColumbusChris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus’ Maiden Voyage Pictures is joining with Audax Films, Court 13, DCM Productions, Good Lap Productions, Le Grisbi, TideRock Media, and Treehouse Pictures to finance and produce Mediterranea, a feature based on the Venice … Read More »

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Sundance: As ‘Dogfight’ Producer Richard Guay Floats New Crowd-Funding Model, It’s Time To Stop Using Kickstarter And ‘Wish I Was Here’ As A Punching Bag

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Just days after the domestic rights to the Zach Braff-directed and Kickstarter-funded Wish I Was Here sold for $2.75 million to Focus Features at the Sundance Film Festival, there’s a new crowd-funding plan making the rounds here in Park City. While his Passion First Funding isn’t up and running yet, Dogfight producer Richard Guay, who has been part of the New York indie scene for years, thinks he’s found a way that people can actually see some financial return for contributing to future projects like Braff’s movie. “It’s going to bring traditional financing and the power of the crowd together,” he told me page1image392today. The idea comes out of aspects of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act that permit general solicitation of accredited investors. The act was intended for startups in general, of which film is but a niche, but in this case people putting money in to a project seeking crowd-funding won’t just be getting a signed poster or set visit but they could actually make their money back as well as profits. Read More »

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Sundance: A24 Acquires ‘Obvious Child’

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 4:34pm PST
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 4:34 PM: A24 has made its deal for the comedy official. Check out the release after the original break.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 3:54 PM: In the second big deal of the Sundance Film Festival, ObviousChildA24 has acquired Obvious Child. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, the film stars Jenny Slate as a Brooklyn comedian who gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the most chaotic Valentine’s Day of her life. The film also stars Jake Lacy, David Cross and Gabby Hoffman. Elisabeth Holm is the producer. Sundance2014_badge__140109214059WME Global brokered the sale for the movie, which premiered Friday at the Prospector. The deal was for low seven figures.

A24 was expected to be a strong buyer here at Sundance and it hasn’t disappointed. This is its second deal after acquiring the Lynn Shelton-directed LaggiesHopefully, this will break the logjam for acquisition deals. Several films are in play, including the Midnight title Cooties, which has Lionsgate and several others in hot pursuit. Read More »

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Sundance: Lionsgate Getting Close To Catching ‘Cooties’

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 2:46pm PST

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059No deal is done but Lionsgate looks to be the front-runner to snag comedic fright flick Cooties at the Sundance Film Festival.  Sources say negotiations on the film starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson are ongoing. Cooties premiered on … Read More »

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Sundance: Fox Searchlight Acquires ‘I Origins’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 2 PM: Fox Searchlight just confirmed it has acquired worldwide rights to I Origins. Full release follows after the original break.

PREVIOUS, EXCLUSIVE, 9:30 AM: I hear Fox Searchlight is the frontrunner to make a world rights deal ioron I, Origins, the science fiction film written and directed by Mike Cahill. I’m hearing the deal closed at around $3 million, but I’m waiting to confirm. The film premiered Saturday at the Eccles Theater; it will be released domestically by Fox Searchlight. It stars Michael Pitt and Brit Marling, and Cahill and Pitt produced it with Hunter Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Gray and Alex Orlovsky. It focuses on a group of biologists who make a discovery that has far-reaching consequences. Fox Searchlight did the domestic on Cahill’s last film with Marling, Another Earth, and Fox released in some foreign territories. WME Global brokered the deal.

PARK CITY, UT January 20, 2014 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to the existential drama I ORIGINS. Directed and written by Mike Cahill, I ORIGINS is his second feature following ANOTHER EARTH which Fox Searchlight acquired at Sundance in 2011. The film stars Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun and Archie Panjabi with Cahill, Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky serving as producers. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014.

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