Two more deals were closedat the Sundance Film Festival yesterday and more are set to close before thefestival finishes this weekend, as the domestic buying frenzy continued.
Warner Independent Pictures,which had made multi-million dollar bids on at least two pictures this week,finally closed on its first acquisition, taking North American and UK rights toJohn Curran's independently financed We Don't Live Here Anymore for $2m.
Meanwhile, deals were nearon Ian Iqbal Rashid's UK/Canadian co-production Touch Of Pink with Sony Pictures Classics close to securing domestic and other territories, and on Morgan Sperlock's popular documentarySuper Size Me with FoxSearchlight and Newmarket Films heading the pack of eager buyers.
Warner Independent secured WeDon't Live Here Anymore that starsMark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Naomi Watts and Peter Krause in a marathonnegotiation on Tuesday night between Mark Gill and Paul Federbush of Warner andCassian Elwes and Rena Ronson of William Morris Independent on behalf ofproduction company Front Street Pictures.
Renaissance Films ishandling international sales on the film, which looks at the effects ofadultery on two couples who are also best friends. It is playing in dramaticcompetition at the festival.
CSA: The ConfederateStates Of America, which plays inAmerican Spectrum, was picked up by IFC Films for North America. The deal wasnegotiated by Sarah Lash, IFC's Director of Acquisitions, and Andrew Herwitz ofThe Film Sales Company.
The film is a mock documentarywhich imagines what would have happened to the US if the South had won theCivil War. It is written and directed by Kevin Wilmott and executive producedby Spike Lee.
"Kevin Willmott hasmade a completely original film that is provocative and confrontational," saidIFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring in a statement. "It is exactly thekind of project that IFC embraces; it asks more questions than it answers, it'sextraordinarily brave, and it's an example of superb and purposeful filmmaking.We're thrilled to be working with Kevin and Rick and are proud to add this toour slate."
Touch Of Pink, which is being sold by Charlotte Mickie of AllianceAtlantis, stars Jimi Mistry as a gay man in London whose life is lived with thehelp and advice of an imaginary Cary Grant, as played by Kyle MacLachlan. Afeel-good comedy of romance and immigrants, the film is set in London andToronto. Redbus has UK rights.
Super Size Me, meanwhile, was stirring up gossip among buyers overthe possibility of litigation - or at least an advertising boycott - from fastfood giant McDonalds, since its subject suffers acute liver problems afterbinging on burgers, french fries, sodas and the like for thirty days straight.
Sellers Josh Braun andCinetic Media stressed that the domestic release posed no legal threat, sinceit was covered by fair use.Nonetheless, studio buyers - with the apparent exception of FoxSearchlight, expressed concerns that McDonalds might retaliate by pullingadvertising support from affiliated TV networks and media outlets across theirparent organizations.
Foreign buyers also wonderedwhether the same fair use coverage would apply in territories such as the UK,where libel laws are more stringent than in the US.
Also generating strong buyerinterest were The Woodsman, thewell-received portrait of a paedophile, played by Kevin Bacon, attempting toreintegrate into society after a prison term, and Mean Creek, a powerful portrait of childhood cruelties directedby hot newcomer Jacob Aaron Estes.