HBO has acquired the U.S. TV rights for Susanne Rostock’s documentary Sing Your Song, about the life and career of Harry Belafonte. It will debut on HBO in fall 2011. Sing Your Song was screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the 2011 Berlin Film Festival. It was produced by Michael Cohl, Gina Belafonte, Jim Brown, William Eigen and Julius R. Nasso, with UTA’s Independent Film Group negotiating the deal.
(Freelancer Sharon Swart is helping Deadline’s Sundance coverage.)
Sundance officially kicked off this evening in Park City with the festival’s first screenings of films, many with various rights available. Irish cop comedy The Guard has just started screening at the Egyptian Theatre, with buyers including Harvey Weinstein in the house. Other films showing tonight are the Harry Belafonte documentary Sing Your Song, documentary Project Nim (which HBO just picked up), U.S. competition drama Pariah, and midnight screening Silent House, a horror thriller from the filmmakers behind 2003’s beyond-scary Open Water.
Earlier at the Egyptian today, Sundance founder Robert Redford, Sundance Institute exec director Keri Putnam, and festival director John Cooper held their annual opening day press conference. Redford wanted to talk about the Sundance Institute, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. “We usually focus on the festival,” Redford said in the conference’s opening remarks, but “I want to talk about why we are here… What’s our point.” He gave a quick recap of why he started the Institute and how the festival sprung from it five years later. Redford underlined its ongoing mission to support emerging artists with labs and workshops, as well as through the festival platform and several newer programs …