By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist January 27, 2012 at 10:44AM
Sundance ends this weekend and before everyone hops on a plane back home there are some last-minute deals to be done with distributions acquiring those titles that have made people sit up and take notice over the past week or so.
Entertainment One have picked up the North-American distribution rights to Kieran Darcy-Smith’s directorial debut “Wish You Were Here” and aim to have the Australian film in theatres for around fall this year. The psychological thriller boasts two recognisable names in Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer, and follows four friends who set off on a holiday in Cambodia but only three make it back. We weren’t particularly impressed by the film, calling it “disappointingly pedestrian” and “simultaneously mysterious and mostly uninteresting,” when it played on the opening night of the festival. [Deadline]
We were decidedly more positive about “Simon Killer” starring Brady Corbet -- in Antonio Campos’ follow-up to the acclaimed “Afterschool” -- and IFC Films are reportedly in final negotiations to acquire his second feature for a mid-six figure fee. The company also acquired Josh Radnor’s “Liberal Arts” earlier in the week and will add this story of a college grad who travels to Paris and falls in love with a mysterious young prostitute to their catalogue. [Variety]
Meanwhile IFC’s sister companies have also been busy, with IFC Midnight snapping up the rights to Nicholas McCarthy’s debut “The Pact,” and Sundance Selects picking up David France’s documentary “How To Survive A Plague.” McCarthy’s film was based on a short which played at the festival just a year ago, and follows two sisters who return to their childhood home only to be greeted by a mysterious presence. France’s documentary is something completely different and was met with a terrific response when it premiered on Sunday. It tells the story of how the pattern of apathy from politicians towards AIDS pushed an activist group to seek more immediate response from the pharmaceutical industry. [MCN/Deadline]
Of Tim Heidecker’s two films at Sundance this year (no prizes for guessing what the other one is), we said that “The Comedy” was the one “that’ll have people talking.” Rough House Pictures have come aboard to present the story of a privileged (and we hasten to use the term) hipster who isolates himself from reality and wastes away his days with friends. [Deadline]
And finally, a change of pace now, with the National Geographic Channel picking up the television rights to the documentary “Chasing Ice.” The brilliant premise for the doc sees director Jeff Orlowski follow a photographer who has set up 30 time-lapse cameras across three continents to gather visual evidence of Earth’s melting ice. The doc shares a writer and producer with “The Cove,” so this is definitely one to watch out for on the channel in the future.