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Acquisitions

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    iW NEWS | "Derek" Deal at Sundance

    Isaac Julien's "Derek" has been acquired by Andrew Herwitz's The Film Sales Company in a deal for U.S. distribution rights and worldwide sales rights (with the exception of the U.K.). Narrated and written by Tilda Swinton, the film is having its world premiere in the Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Documentary Competition and will have a specialized theatrical release later this year. It is set to screen in the Panorama section at the upcoming Berlinale. The documentary, which looks at the life of artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman, was funded by Film London, Channel 4, MoMA and the Sundance Documentary Fund. It was produced by Eliza Mel...

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    PARK CITY '08 9:22 p.m. | "American Teen" Nearing Paramount Vantage Pact

    Inside sources indicate that Paramount Vantage is nearing a deal for Nanette Burstein's "American Teen" after protracted negotiations that began with a number of would-be buyers -- including Sony Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight ---immediately following the Friday's Sundance Film Festival prem...

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    iW NEWS | Searchlight Gets "Choke"

    The day after the world premiere of Clark Gregg's "Choke," Fox Searchlight acquired the film at the Sundance Film Festival and is expected to formally announce the deal soon. Described by Sundance as, a "dark comedy about mothers and sons, sexual compulsion, and the sordid underbellly of Colonial th...

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    iW NEWS | Overture Takes Pellington's "Poole"

    Mark Pellington's "Henry Poole Is Here" has been acquired by Overture Films in a deal for U.S. rights brokered with Lakeshore Entertainment. The film, which debuted on Monday afternoon in Park City, stars Luke Wilson as, in the words of an announcement, "a disillusioned man who goes hiding in placid suburbia only to discover he cannot escape the forces of hope." Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Richard Wright along with Gary Gilbert and Tom Lassally produced the film for Lakeshore. It was written by Albert Torres and also stars Radha Mitchell, George Lopez, and newcomers Rachel Seiferth and Morgan Lily. "We were moved by Mark Pellington's poi...

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    iW NEWS | Focus Gets "Hamlet 2" for $10 Million

    Andrew Fleming's "Hamlet 2" has been acquired by Focus Features in a $10 million worldwide deal swiftly sealed within 12 hours of the film's world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was produced by L+E Pictures' Eric Eisner & Leonid Rozhetskin and Aaron Ryder, from an original script by Fleming and Pam Brady. In the words of a description, "In the irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan) rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Cast joining Coogan include David Arquette, Melonie Diaz, Catherine Keener,...

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    iW NEWS | POV Lands "Traces of the Trade"

    Katrina Browne's "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North" has scored a deal with PBS's "POV," she announced on Monday night at the film's first screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Screening in the documentary competition, the film is an exploration of the first-time filmmaker's family history. Browne's ancestors, the deWolfs, were the largest slave-trading family in United States history. From 1769 to 1820, three generations of De Wolfs brought over more than 10,000 Africans. Browne wrote to more than 200 family descendents, inviting them to join her in on a journey to trace the family's legacy in a trip from Ghana to Cuba. Nin...

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    iW NEWS | "The Wave" Signs Canada, U.K. and Spanish Deals

    Dennis Gansel's Sundance World Dramatic Competition film, "The Wave" has entered deals in three territories, Celluloid Dreams announced Sunday. Alliance Films acquired the rights for Canada, while Momentum Pictures will release in the U.K., and Aurum will handle Spain. The deal was negotiated between Xavier Marchand and Robert Walakfor the filmmakers and Hengameh Panahi and Pierre Menahem from Celluloid. The film, based on a novel by Morton Rhue and is required reading in German schools, is the story of a high school teacher Rainer Wenger (Juergen Vogel) who comes up with an experiment in order to explain to his students how totalitarian gove...

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    iW NEWS | HBO Confirms "Polanski" Deal; Plans Oscar Qualifying Run

    HBO Documentary Films confirmed it has picked up all U.S. rights to writer/director/producer Marina Zenovich's Sundance Film Festival doc competition film "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" and the company confirmed that plans to will give it an Oscar qualifying this year. The film, which had its...

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    iW NEWS | ESPN Is "Kicking It"

    ESPN announced that it has acquired Sundance soccer documentary "Kicking It." Produced by Ted Leonsis (who executive produced last year's "Nanking") and directed by Susan Koch, "Kicking It" details the lives of seven soccer players from six countries as they participate in the 4th annual Homeless World Cup. ESPN will retain exclusive television rights worldwide, and execute the film's digital distribution while working with the filmmakers to secure theatrical, DVD and other distribution. "'Kicking It" speaks to the perseverance of the human spirit and the global impact of sport," said Keith Clinkscales, ESPN senior vice president of content ...

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    iW NEWS | Weinstein Picks Up Int'l for "Polanski" in Park City

    Director Marina Zenovich's Sundance doc "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" has been acquired internationally by The Weinstein Company, the company announced Saturday morning. The international deal excludes all U.S. and Canadian rights, as well as U.K. television rights. A pact for the remaining rights is expected to close today in Park City. The film had its world premiere last night at Sundance with buyers and industry buzzing about the film afterward. "Polanski," screening in the festival's doc competition, chronicles the private tragedy and scandal that led to the legendary Polish-born film-makers exile from the United States. Michal Po...

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