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: 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: 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: 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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Hot Trailer: ‘The Raid 2′

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 11:37am PST

Raid 2Sony Pictures Classics has released a new action-packed trailer for Gareth Evans‘ martial arts sequel The Raid 2 ahead of its Sundance bow tonight. This is a hot ticket in Park City where the first Raid film screened after making a splashy debut at Toronto in 2011. Iko Uwais reprises his role as Rama, the Jakarta cop who battled his way through a tenement filled with criminals in the first pic only to go undercover in the sequel to uncover the corrupt baddies at the top of the food chain. Arifin Putra, Tio Pakusadewo, Oka Antara, and Julie Estelle join the fray in The Raid 2 which also sees the return of Raid actor/stunt choreographer Yayan Ruhian. SPC releases The Raid 2 on March 28 but they’re not the only studio banking on the Raid team. Yesterday at Sundance RADiUS-TWC pre-bought North American rights to Evans’ next project, The Night Takes Us, to be directed by Timo Tjahjanto (Killers) and produced by Evans with original Raid cast members starring. 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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Sundance: Failure Panel With Robert Redford Plagued By Failing Video

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 12:06pm PST

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Maybe they should’ve just avoided the topic altogether. Failure took on a very real form today at the Sundance Film Festival’s Free Fail series. A video clip of financier and Open Society Foundations founder George Soros failed to appear onscreen about 15 minutes into the heavily attended panel at Park City’s 20140120_120243Egyptian Theater. After the clip was set up by Open Society president Chris Stone, the panel — which included festival founder Robert Redford, director and Sundance alumni Jill Soloway, creativity researcher Charles Limb, and author Dave Eggers — all turned to look at the screen. Nothing showed up. After nearly 20 seconds, with the panelists looking off-stage and Sundance staff running up and down the side aisles, the lights went up and the discussion went on sans clip.

Related: Sundance: Documentary Program Gets $5M Grant From George Soros’ Foundation
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Sundance: Radius-TWC Pre-Buys North American On ‘The Night Comes For Us,’ Next Pic By ‘The Raid’ Team

Mike Fleming

RAIDDREEXCLUSIVE: OK, so it’s been a slow go at least so far for Sundance deals so far. But here’s an intriguing pre-buy that has its roots in the festival. RADiUS-TWC has acquired North American rights to The Night Comes For Us, an action thriller that is directed by Timo Tjahjanto, whose film Killers is playing Sundance and is produced by The Raid: Redemption director Gareth Evans. Evans, whose sequel The Raid: Berandal is unveiling at Sundance through Sony Pictures Classics, will handle action direction in the film. It’s set to premiere tomorrow night. The film also brings back the stars of The Raid: Redemption, as martial artist Iko Uwais is choreographing the action mayhem and Taslim and Yayan Ruhian are starring. The film will be released in 2015.

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Taslim plays a mobster who returns to his local crime family in Jakarta only to find himself trapped in a word of betrayal and chaos. Evans will produce alongside Maya Barack Evans of PT Merantau Films and XYZ Films’ Nate Bolotin, Aram Tertzakian, Nick Spicer and Todd Brown. Read More »

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Sundance: Dual Damon Albarn Gigs Hot Ticket On Big Party Night

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 2:00am PST

Sundance Channel Celebration At 2014 Sundance Film Festival - 2014 Park CitySundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608There are plenty of people working on more than one movie at the Sundance Film Festival this year, but only one musical act pulled double duty Sunday. On a packed party night in Park City, Damon Albarn played a 5-song set at the Sundance Channel HQ in the evening in front of Maggie Gyllenhaal and more. He then hustled down the block to the YouTube On Main Street storefront for a slightly longer show in front of 150 guests at 11 PM. At the two invite-only SRO events, the Blur and Gorillaz frontman performed ballads from both his bands and his upcoming solo album. In both gigs, a string quartet and a keyboardist backed up Albarn, who played acoustic guitar.
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Sundance: Roger Ebert Docu Debut Draws Cheers & Tears

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 7:14pm PST

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608“I think I am so fortunate to have had one of the greatest love stories,” Chaz Ebert emotionally told the crowd tonight at the Sundance Film Festival world premiere screening of the biographical documentary about her late Read More »

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