TheSundance Film Festival 2006 ended with a flurry as deals were closed on Half Nelson, Stay, TV Junkie, The Darwin Awards and Man Push Cart.
Meanwhile buyers were closing in on Neil Burger's The Illusionist, Joey Lauren Adams' ComeEarly Morning, WashWestmoreland and Richard Glatzer's double Sundance winner Quinceanera, Hilary Brougher's Stephanie Daley, Mia Goldman's Open Window, and Jeremy Passmore and Hal Haberman's Special.
THINKFilm bought worldwide rights to Half Nelson, Ryan Fleck's inner city drama starringRyan Gosling and Shareeka Epps.
The company plans a late summer release for the film in whichGosling plays a schoolteacher with a crack habit. Theatrical chief Mark Urmanhailed Fleck as a major emerging talent. "I loved the movie and think it'sone of the best dramatic films I've seen at the festival," Urman said.
THINK's senior vice president of acquisitions and business affairsRandy Manis negotiated the deal with William Morris Independent's Rena Ronson.
Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films swooped for jointNorth American rights on Stay, Bob Goldthwait's riotous tale of a young woman haunted by a pastsexual indiscretion. Melinda Page Hamilton stars in a role that drew generouspublic praise after one screening from jury member Terence Howard.
Gaumont took all international rights excluding the UK, whereTartan UK will distribute.
Roadside Attractions co-president Eric d'Arbeloff and SamuelGoldwyn Films vice president of acquisitions Peter Goldwyn negotiated the dealwith William Morris Independent.
"I've never encountered a film that so intelligently combinesraunchy humor with warmth and emotional truth," d'Arbeloff said.
"Stay will connect with everyone who's ever had a secret," Gottliebadded. "The film is an excellent match for our company's mission to bringforth independent films with a unique voice and vision."
Katapult took international rights to Michael Cain and MattRadecki's documentary TV Junkie, a meditation on the technology-infused culture of celebrity.
Thomas Mai negotiated the dealon behalf of Katapult, with ICM, Josh Braun of Submarine and Ring The Jing'sRoger Kass on behalf of the filmmakers. Talks are ongoing with North Americandistributors.
Bauer Martinez Distribution took North American rights to TheDarwin Awards, FinnTaylor's story of posthumous honours given to people who die ludicrous deaths.Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder star.
Bauer Martinez' vice president of acquisitions and developmentSteve Break brokered the deal with CAA, Linda Lichter and Irwin M Rappaport.
Film Philos acquired North American rights for Man Push Cart, Ramin Bahrani's intimate characterstudy of a New York loner.
The distributor plans a late autumn/early winter release afternegotiating rights with Paris-based sales outfit Wide Entertainment.
Deals were alsofinalised with Cine Classic for France, Medial for Greece, and Belgium, theNetherlands and Luxembourg for Imagine Films Distribution.