Artisan Entertainment, which has picked up a film every year at Sundance for the last three years, made it four on Friday, closing a deal to acquire North American rights to the documentary Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent, which is playing in the festival's American Spectrum section.
The film examines the events surrounding a rape charge filed against college student Michael Yahraus in Feb 1999 by exotic dancer Lisa Gier King hired by a fraternity on the University of Florida campus at Gainesville. Video footage taken by Yahraus and his fraternity brothers was subsequently found by police who then charged Gier King with filing a false report. The film looks at the video footage and debates whether or not it proves consensual sex or rape.
Raw Deal was directed by Billy Corben and produced jointly by Alfred Spellman and Corben, now 22 year-olds who formed Spellman/Corben Productions in 1994 when they were at high school. They have subsequently made two shorts and one feature.
Amir Malin, Artisan's chief executive officer, and executive vice president Patrick Gunn negotiated the deal with Micah Green for Sloss Special Projects and Paul Brennen for Sloss Law Office representing the film-makers.
The Raw Deal deal follows Artisan's acquisition of Chuck And Buck last year, of The Blair Witch Project in 1999 and of Pi in 1998.