January 28, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Participant Media has acquired North American rights to Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites’ documentary 99%–The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film, directed by Ewell & Aites, along with Lucian Read and Nina Krstic, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Following its theatrical run, the film will have its world television premiere on Participant’s new TV channel targeting millennials, scheduled to launch in August. READ MORE »
NEW YORK, NY (January 28, 2013) – While looking to expand its burgeoning slate from this year’s Sundance offerings, the 108 Media/Paladin partnership has just snared one of the most honored and acclaimed films from last year’s event, having acquired worldwide rights to Musa Syeed’s VALLEY OF SAINTS, it
(New York, NY) January 26, 2013-Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American rights to Andrew Dosunmu’s MOTHER OF GEORGE. The film made its world premiere this past week as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition in Sundance, to widespread critical acclaim and enthusiastic audience response.
In the poetic and moving MOTHER OF GEORGE, Adenike (Danai Gurira) weds the charismatic Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé), the owner of a small Nigerian restaurant in Brooklyn. Their traditional wedding culminates in a ceremony where Adenike is named for her yet-to-be-conceived son, George. But as the months pass without pregnancy, Adenike faces uncomfortable and unfamiliar choices in her desperate struggle to save her marriage. The film stars THE WALKING DEAD’s Gurira in the title role and veteran actor De Bankolé as her husband, and co-stars Yaya Alafia and Tony Okungbowa. This is Dosunmu’s second feature, following his critically heralded 2011 debut RESTLESS CITY.
Park City, UT — Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced Kentaro Hagiwara, director of the upcoming film, Spectacled Tiger, as winner of the 2013 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award. The award was presented at a private ceremony at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Created in 1996 to celebrate 100 years of cinema, the annual award recognizes and supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. Sundance Institute staff works closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films.
Films previously supported by this award include Beasts of the Southern Wild, by Benh Zeitlin, and May in the Summer, by Cherien Dabis, which had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
EXCLUSIVE: Another script developed at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab is being made into a movie. TideRock Media and Taggart Productions said today that they’re taking Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s feature debut Ad Inexplorata into production this summer. The film, which Rosenberg will also direct, is about an American astronaut on a one-way mission to Mars. The project also received support from Creative Capital, San Francisco Film Society and the Indian Paintbrush Fellowship. Josh Penn, Matthew Parker, Jason Michael Berman and Thomas B. Fore will produce Ad Inexplorata. Penn and Parker were producers on Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which was one of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s breakout films and is now up for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture. Parker also produced Mother Of George, which was at this year’s Festival. Berman and Fore produced LUV, which played during last year’s Sundance. Michael Nardelli will serve as executive producer.
PARK CITY, UT, January 25 – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the Company has acquired all North American rights to NEWLYWEEDS, the debut feature written and directed by Shaka King. Produced by Jim Wareck, Michael Mathews, Shaka King and Gbenga Akinnagbe, with Andy Sawyer and Neil Katz serving as executive producers, NEWLYWEEDS just enjoyed its world premiere in the NEXTsection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which concludes this weekend.
Phase 4 is planning a day and date theatrical and VOD release for the movie this summer. The deal was negotiated by Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
Three days after CBS Films acquired domestic rights to Toy’s House at the Sundance Film Festival, QED International has scooped up non-North American rights to the coming-of-age comedy. It’s the first deal for John Hegeman, the former New Regency marketing boss who was appointed QED’s president of worldwide marketing and acquisitions just ahead of Sundance. Park City was his first task with the new title. Here’s today’s release on Toy’s House:
LOS ANGELES (January 25, 2013) – QED International has acquired international distribution rights to TOY’S HOUSE, it was announced today by Worldwide President of Marketing and Acquisitions John Hegeman. Under the agreement, QED will distribute TOY’S HOUSE in all markets outside North America. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and has just been picked up for US distribution by CBS Films which is eyeing a 2013 release date.
2ND UPDATE: IFC has finally confirmed this deal. Here’s the release, at the bottom of Deadline’s break on the deal.
UPDATE, 3:35 AM: It was easier for Deadline to splash an exclusive about the Ain’t Them Bodies Saints deal last night than it was for Sundance dealmakers to paper it. But Cassian Elwes and WME Global’s Graham Taylor and Alexis Garcia finally closed with IFC Films‘ Arianna Bocco at 3 AM Los Angeles time, for a bit more than $1 million for U.S. rights. That means the reps will hold a mini-auction for Canadian rights — after they take a nap. I heard this morning from Elwes, who said Saints will benefit from a multi-platform strategy that the dealmaker/producer road-tested with Margin Call, and which he feels is a major reason the indie market is reinvigorated.
On this deal, Elwes had his original flight canceled and had to take another back to L.A. They negotiated until he had to shut off his cell phone, and then continued when he landed. Plane rides factored into the festival more than once, as Wednesday (at 3:36 AM West Coast time), WME Global closed a deal with eOne for the cannibal tale We Are What We Are. I’d heard that the agents were on the same flight with the eOne team, and they were going back and forth — and getting testy at times but not enough where they had to be duct-taped to their seats — on the way back to LA from Park City. By the time they landed, they were all smiling, and probably papered the deal with a Delta cocktail napkin for a platform theatrical release. When I asked Elwes why, like vampires, Sundance sellers and buyers only seem to get anything done between nightfall and dawn, he said: “Unfortunately, you watch the movies during the day and the only time to make a deal is when most people are asleep.” A few more deals and then these agents and buyers all deserve a long winter’s nap when this festival ends, as do the insomniac journalists who stalk them into the wee hours.
As the Sundance Film Festival continues in Park City, Slamdance ended tonight with its awards ceremony. The 19th annual festival handed out jury awards for Short Film, Animation, Feature Documentary, Short Documentary and Narrative Feature. They also gave out Audience Awards for Feature Documentary and Feature Narrative. The festival gave sponsored awards and the Filmmaker Award for Spirit of Slamdance. This year’s Slamdance ran from January 18 to today. Check out the 2013 winners below:
Audience Award for Feature Documentary: MY NAME IS FAITH by Jason Banker, Jorge Torres-Torres, Tiffany Sudela-Junker
Audience Award for Feature Narrative: HANK AND ASHA by James E. Duff
GRAND JURY AWARDS – NARRATIVE
This year’s Slamdance Narrative Grand Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Nancy Schafer, Meira Blaustein and Chris Gore.
Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Narrative: THE DIRTIES by Matt Johnson. “Terrifyingly timely and brutally honest, ‘The Dirties’ uses film references to the extreme as dreams of youth and intense growing pains collide.”
Special Mention: JOY DE V., by Nadia Szold. “Filled with humor, flawless characters and performances and a highly developed visual style, ‘Joy de V’ is a film that signals the arrival of a powerful new filmmaking talent.”
GRAND JURY AWARDS – DOCUMENTARY
This year’s Slamdance Documentary Grand Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Daniel J. Harris, Brian Knappenberger, and Dan Schoenbrun.
Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Documentary: BIBLE QUIZ by Nicole Teeny. “Director Nicole Teeny’s careful storytelling and her subject’s passion, angst, and youthful uncertainty are captured with universal empathy.”
Grand Jury Sparky Award for Short Documentary: THE BIRDMAN by Jessie Auritt. “We felt this slice-of-life portrait said a lot about the economy and changing way of life in a New York City neighborhood.”
These Sundance films keep raking it in. Content has acquired foreign rights to Concussion, a drama about a fortysomething wealthy, married, lesbian housewife who gets beaned by a baseball and strangely reflects on a life that she realizes is wanting and leads her to lead a secret life on the side. As Deadline revealed late Monday evening, Radius-TWC spent a 7-figure sum for North American rights, for a multi-platform release in a deal brokered by Paradigm. Here’s the Content release:
BREAKING: The Weinstein Company’s Radius-TWC label has acquired Inequality For All, which is playing in the U.S. Competition at Sundance. It’s the fourth pickup in Park City for Radius, which overnight nailed down Lovelace starring Amanda Seyfried and also acquired Twenty Feet From Stardom and Concussion here.
In Inequality, noted economic policy director Robert Reich distills the topic of widening income inequality and addresses the question of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and our democracy. Inequality premiered Saturday at the Prospector Square Park Theatre and bidding went on all night with several suitors before TWC emerged in an exclusive negotiation this morning. The plan is to release the Jacob Kornbluth-directed pic in summer 2013. Producers are Jen Chaiken and Sebastian Dungan of 72 Productions.
Park City, UT – January 23, 2013 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American rights to PRINCE AVALANCHE after its rapturously received Sunday premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The new film from writer/director David Gordon Green, PRINCE AVALANCHE stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, and was produced by Lisa Muskat, Derrick Tseng, Craig Zobel (director of Magnolia’s 2012 release Compliance), James Belfer and David Gordon Green.
Ketchup Entertainment has acquired the action thriller Vehicle 19, which stars The Fast And The Furious topliner Paul Walker, Naima McLean, Gys de Villiers, Leyla Haidarian, and Tshepo Maseko. It was directed by Retribution‘s Mukunda Michael Dewil. Ryan Haidarian and Peter Safran produced and Walker and Eddie Mbalo are exec producers. Walker plays a recent parolee who unwittingly picks up the wrong rental vehicle after a long flight. He soon realizes that he is the target of an entire police force after discovering the tied-up female “passenger” in the trunk. Pic will be released in June.
EXCLUSIVE: In another late night Sundance Film Festival deal, Exclusive Media-owned Exclusive Releasing is closing a deal for U.S. rights to Two Mothers, the Anne Fontaine-directed drama that premiered last Friday at the Eccles Theatre. Deal is a low seven figure advance and includes a few other territories, but most of the foreign territories belong to Gaumont, which funded the film. Pic is described as a gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendships of two lifelong female friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Naomi Watts and Robin Wright play the moms, and Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville also star. Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton penned the adaptation of Doris Lessing’s short story.
The deals calls for a traditional theatrical release through Exclusive Releasing, the distribution company that Exclusive co-chairmen Guy East and Nigel Sinclair launched last September, headed by Scott Pascucci and Matt Brodlie. There is a significant P&A and screen commitment for what will shape up as a specialized film release in the summer. Numerous bidders circled the film, some proposing a multi-platform strategy, but Exclusive Media’s Exclusive Releasing was most aggressive for its new release enterprise. CAA brokered the deal with Brodlie and Gaumont International chief Cécile Gaget.