In the second largest dealstruck so far at Sundance, Fox Searchlight Pictures has paid $4m fordistribution rights in North America, Latin America, Australasia, the UK andSouth Africa to Miguel Arteta's The Good Girl, which is being handled by Myriad Pictures and WMA Independent.
At the same time, SonyPictures Classics is believed to have paid around $2.5m for rights in the sameEnglish-speaking and Latin American territories to Todd Louiso's LoveLiza in a deal struck with WildBunch.
Both films feature leadperformances from actors that are likely to be positioned for consideration in nextyear's Oscar campaigns. The Good Girl stars television superstar Jennifer Anniston in anunfamiliar role as a somewhat dowdy shop girl who begins an illicit affair outof boredom with her life and marriage. "Jennifer Aniston's remarkableperformance shows yet another depth in her acting range," noted FoxSearchlight president Peter Rice in making the announcement yesterday. Hiscompany has been previously associated with both director Arteta and Aniston.
Love Liza is dominated by yet another scene-stealingperformance from Philip Seymour Hoffman as a man who turns to inhaling gasolinefumes after the suicide of his wife. This decidedly black comedy was written byhis brother, Gordy Hoffman, and also features Oscar-winner Kathy Bates in astand-out supporting role.
At the same time, Fox Searchlight Pictures closed a deal - estimated at around $2.5m for all English-speaking territories plus France and Italy to John Malkovich'sdirectorial debut The Dancer Upstairs, in another deal brokered by WMA Independent. The same outfit, a division of the William Morris Agency that is spearheaded by Cassian Elwes and Rena Ronson also negotiated the Fox deal on The Good Girl on behalf of Myriad.
Other Sundance deals alsoappear imminent at a Sundance Film Festival that has seen specialist distributorskeen to add to their release slates. SPC is also thought to be eyeing Jed Weintrob's On-Line, a film that uses digital technology to tell of characters searching for true love in a world of anonymous cybersex.
There has also been industry activity outside the official Sundance selections with Lot 47 Films said to be discussing distribution terms on Alexandre Rockwell's 13 Moons , the opening night film of the Slamdance Film Festival that runs in parallel with Sundance but with no official affiliation or endorsement.