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Sundance '11: Roadside Attraction Sees 'The Future'; Focus Features Picks Up 'Pariah'

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 28, 2011 6:46 AM
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While the Sundance Film Festival will come to an end on Sunday, buyers are still busy trying to close deals before they'll have to head back to their various offices around the country and the globe.

Certainly one of the hottest films to emerge from this year's festival is Miranda July's "The Future." Buzz has been strong for the film since its premiere where it found a variety of interested distributors circling it including IFC Films, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics. However, as THR reports, Roadside Attractions has emerged victorious from the scrum landing the domestic rights to the film. Described by our man at Sundance James Rocchi as "surreal, precious, devastating and brilliant," the story focuses on an L.A. couple (July and Hamish Linklater) who are intent on adopting a cat they rescued but soon realize that when the cat is released from medical care in a month, their lives will change, be set, connected by responsibility and care to a future both unimaginable and wholly predictable. The twist? The film is narrated by the cat named Paw Paw. And music heads take note: Jon Brion scored the film.

Meanwhile, director Dee Rees got a double dose of good news from Focus Features. Deadine reports that the distributor not only picked up her debut feature "Pariah" -- a coming of age story of a 17-year old African American teen from Brooklyn trying to find her place in the world, and coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian -- they've also tapped Rees to write another script as a potential directorial vehicle. A great career boost for any young director. Surprisingly, this is the first deal by Focus Features at the festival which has seen many strong films play out this year, but clearly, they see big things in "Pariah" and in Dee Rees future.

The Sundance Film Festival will close this weekend, with awards being handed out on Sunday.

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More: Films, Miranda July, Pariah, The Future

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