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Sundance: Roadside Attractions To Release ‘Project Nim’

Mike Fleming

Following the preemptive acquisition of the documentary Project Nim by HBO, there was some question of whether theatrical distributors would be as excited about acquiring the film, when all of its rights were now spoken for. Roadside Attractions has stepped up. Here’s the release:

Park City, UT (January 27, 2011) – HBO has partnered with Roadside Attractions for US theatrical and DVD rights to PROJECT NIM, the 2011 Sundance Film Festival opener in the World Cinema Documentary Competition, it was announced today by Sheila Nevins, President, HBO Documentary Films and Howard Cohen, Co-President Roadside Attractions. The film will go out theatrically through Roadside Attractions, on television through HBO and on DVD through Lionsgate.

From the Oscar©-winning team behind MAN ON WIRE, director James Marsh and producer Simon Chinn, comes the story of Nim, a chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Following Nim’s extraordinary journey through human society, and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets along the way, the film is an unflinching and unsentimental biography of an animal we tried to make human.

The deal was negotiated by HBO, Submarine’s Josh Braun and Roadside Attractions’ Howard Cohen.

“James Marsh and I are absolutely thrilled to be working with Roadside Attractions and HBO Documentary Films on the US theatrical release of

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Sundance: ‘Margin Call’ To Roadside Attractions And Lionsgate

Mike Fleming

The JC Chandor-directed drama Margin Call sold to Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate after an all night bargaining session. The film stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell and Stanley Tucci. That cast alone had buyers circling the modestly-budgeted film because of its ancillary prospects. Talk last night had the film in the low-seven figure range, and plans for a theatrical release that’s described as a joint release between the companies. I haven’t heard deal figures yet, but the film becomes the second Sundance sale, after Like Crazy sold to Paramount and Indian Paintbrush.

The Margin Call deal was brokered by Cassian Elwes and UTA’s Rena Ronson, with Roadside’s Howard Cohen and Lionsgate’s Steve Beeks. The film premieres Tuesday night at the Eccles. Chandor wrote the script, which takes place in a 24-hour period at the start of the financial collapse of 2008. A group of characters at a financial firm make decisions that have moral implications as the firm teeters on the brink of collapse. Myriad Pictures is selling international, and brokered many of those deals at AFM.

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Roadside Attractions And Liddell Entertainment Acquire ‘Biutiful’

Mike Fleming

What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah. Tojdja! Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment just announced they’ve acquired U.S. rights to the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Biutiful, which won a Best Actor Award for Javier Bardem at Cannes. Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen and Liddell Entertainment’s Mickey Liddell teamed on the deal and CAA repped the picture.

Deadline broke the news on August 10. The film will be released in December.

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