Saturday, January 24, 2009

Distribution Found at Sundance

Taking a film to Sundance and finding distribution and buzz is clearly the main goals of the festival and so far this year a few films have generated enough talk that studios are moving quickly at picking them up. Bids are flying back and forth so below I have a rundown of a handful of the films that have been nabbed up for theatrical releases to this point. Enjoy...

Directed by Lynn Shelton
Starring: Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard
Synopsis: Two guys take their bromance to another level when they participate in an art film project.

Distributor: Humpday has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures for a mid-six figure deal. The film in an unorthodox release plan will release in July on VOD one month before a limited theatrical release in August.

"Black Dynamite"
Directed by Scott Sanders
Starring: Michael Jai White
Synopsis: The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor. Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight.

Distributor: Sony Bought the rights to Black Dynamite just under $2 million dollars and intends to seek a theatrical partner in Screen Gems. Sony believes Black Dynamite to have franchise potential. No release date has been set.

"Dead Snow"
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Charlotte Frogner, Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen and Ørjan Gamst
Synopsis: Eight Norwegian friends take a ski vacation and find that they aren't the only people on the mountain. They find themselves surrounded by bloody thirsty Nazi zombies!

Distributor: IFC Films acquired the rights to Dead Snow's U.S. distribution. IFC plans on releasing the tongue and cheek horror flick in 2009 and can expect a VOD to coincide with the theatrical release.

Directed by Duncan Jones
Starring: Sam Rockwell
Synopsis: A helium miner is isolated on the Moon for 3 years and has a quintessentially personal encounter awaiting his return to his family on Earth.

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classic have assumed the role of distributing Moon with a June release date planned. The film had been pre-bought by Sony prior to the festival and the two will work in tandem for the theatrical release.

"The Winning Season"
Directed by James C. Strouse
Starring: Sam Rockwell
Synopsis: A comedy centered on a has-been coach who is given a shot at redemption when he's asked to run his local high school's girls basketball team.

Distributor: Lionsgate has picked up The Winning Season for both North American and UK releases in 2009. No other release information has been made available by Lionsgate Films.

"In the Loop"
Directed by Armando Iannucci
Starring: Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini and Steve Coogan
Synopsis: A British government minister who inadvertently supports a war while on primetime television.

Distributor: IFC nabbed the rights just hours before the films premeire at Sundance and are very excited to introduce American audiences to Armando Iannucci. The film is likely to see a late 2009 release date.

"The Mysteries of Pittsburgh"
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jon Foster, Sienna Miller, Mena Suvari, Peter Sarsgaard, and Nick Nolte
Synopsis: 1980s Pittsburgh, story follows a teen's transformative summer with his mobster father, sometime girlfriend, a beautiful debutante and her thug boyfriend.

Distributor: Peace Arch picked up the rights to the Michael Chabon adapted story. The film actually premeried at last year's festival and will see a release this spring.

Directed by Max Mayer
Starring: Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne
Synopsis: A man with Asperger syndrome who falls in love with his neighbor.

Distributor: Fox Searchlight acquired the rookie writer/director's romantic film following its Monday debut with a modest offer. The film is slated to release late 2009.

"An Education"
Directed by: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper and Alfred Molina
Synopsis: A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

Distributor: Sony Picture Classic spent $3 million on "An Education" in a heavy bidding war that included Lionsgate, Overture, The Weinstein Co. and Focus Features. The film will release with Award contention in mind late next year.

What say you? Any of these films jump out at you? More to come from Sundance as it develops. Strikeback...