Well, buyers are busy this month at the Sundance Film Festival, so whatever Kevin Smith might be saying about the wacky indie film model, it seems that its still working quite well for lots of people.
Fox Searchlight have walked away with "Martha Marcy May Marlene" one of the hottest films at the festival this year. The film features the much-talked about, breakout performance by Elizabeth Olsen (yes, sister of the "Full House" twins) who stars in the lead role of Martha, "a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult." The film is the feature debut of writer/director Sean Durkin, and the cast is rounded out by Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes and Hugh Dancy. No word yet on release dates, but considering the buzz around Olsen don't be surprised if it becomes an awards play.
National Geographic Films have picked up,"Life In A Day," the crowd-sourced YouTube doc directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley Scott. The idea behind the film was simple if somewhat of a logistical challenge: On July 24th YouTube users uploaded footage from around with the idea of telling future generations of what life was like on the planet on that single day. Against All Odds Productions joined the production to make sure that cameras were provided in even the remotest areas of the Earth and the result was 4500 hours of footage from 192 countries. In keeping with the communal, connective vibe of the project, on Thursday, January 27th—the same day it premieres in Park City—the film will live stream on YouTube on the production’s official channel. In case you miss the broadcast, the film will re-up the same day at 7 PM local time so you can have another shot to watch it again before it heads to theaters and on-demand services. But if streaming isn't your thing or if you miss Thursday's debut, National Geographic will be taking it to theaters.
Lastly, Participant Media and Magnolia are teaming up to distribute "Page One," from director Andrew Rossi ("Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven," "Eat This New York"). The documentary should prove to be fascinating as Rossi spent "14 months camped out at the media desk of The New York Times. He followed reporters like David Carr and Brian Stelter as they reported on technological changes, the same ones that were walloping the newspaper's circulation and advertising, causing newsroom layoffs." IFC and Samuel Goldwyn were also battling for the picture, but couldn't snag it. No release plans have yet been revealed.