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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Deal: IFC Takes 'Liberal Arts'

IFC Films is acquiring North American rights to writer-director-actor Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts," which debuted at Sundance on January 22 to a rousing standing ovation. It's "How I Met Your Mother" star Radnor's follow-up to Sundance hit "happythankyoumoreplease." Trained as an actor, Radnor wrote the film for acting idols Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor") and Allison Janney ("Juno, The Help"). Also starring are Elizabeth Olsen ("Martha Marcy May Marlene"), Elizabeth Reaser ("The Family Stone," "Twilight') and John Magaro ("The Brave One"). IFC plans to release the film theatrically later this year. In the film, a brainy thirty something (Radnor) returns to his college for the retirement of his favorite professor (Jenkins). He meets a young co-ed (Olsen) and flirts with a relationship; he's also attracted to his old romantic literature professor (Janney).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2012 1:27 AM
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Sundance Deal: Sony Worldwide Partners with Goldwyn for 'Robot & Frank'

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films have partnered to acquire North American rights to rookie Jake Schreier's "Robot and Frank," which had its world premiere Friday in Salt Lake City, then played at the Eccles Theatre Saturday night. The movie stars Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon"), Susan Sarandon ("Dead Man Walking"), James Marsden (Sundance comedy "Bachelorette"), Liv Tyler and Peter Saarsgard ("Shattered Glass"). Additionally, SPWA has acquired all media rights for Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe including Russia. New Sony acquisitions exec Joe Matukewicz had been tracking the film from the script stage, he said. “This winning film strikes a special chord with audiences... Jake’s film shows us a future that is right around the corner, and I for one, can’t wait for my own Robot!”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2012 12:50 AM
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FIRST LOOK: 'No Room for Rockstars' Music Doc Captures the Wild, Weird, World of Warped Tour

"No Room for Rockstars" premiered at Slamdance on January 22. Then it will play one night on Cinedigm digital screens across the country, on March 1, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 25, 2012 10:20 PM
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Academy Partners with Everyone Counts for 2013 Electronic Oscar Ballots

The 2013 Academy Awards are already making news, with the Academy announcing today that it has partnered with Everyone Counts to develop an electronic voting system for next year's Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs
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  • January 25, 2012 10:11 PM
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More: Oscars, Online

Producer Stephanie Allain to Helm Los Angeles Film Festival

Film Independent, the organization behind the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, has finally confirmed producer Stephanie Allain as the new Los Angeles Film Festival Director, replacing Rebecca Yeldham, who has returned to producing.
  • By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs
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  • January 25, 2012 9:28 PM
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Sundance Deal: The Story Behind 'Arbitrage' and Its Sale to Lionsgate/Roadside

Park City, Utah...Marking their first acquisition of the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside acquired U.S. distribution rights for about $2 million to Nicholas Jarecki's "Arbitrage," starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling. There had been some speculation that the recent Lionsgate/Summit merger would have some impact on the company's buying appetite, but they were in the hunt, and Roadside Attractions' Howard Cohen, celebrating three Oscar nominations for "Albert Nobbs" and one for "Margin Call" (partnered with Lionsgate), was in good spirits at the Cinetic party at the Bing Bar Tuesday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2012 9:14 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Deal: Millennium Picks Up Paranormal Thriller "Red Lights"

In today's Sundance news, Millenium Entertainment has signed a deal for the U.S. distribution rights to "Red Lights," the new thriller from "Buried" director Rodrigo Cortés that premiered at the festival last Friday.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 25, 2012 3:33 PM
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Independent Films Receive 60 Oscar Nominations

This year wasn't just a good year for movies about movies at the Oscars, it was a great year for independent films. The top two Oscar contenders--"Hugo," with 11 nominations, and "The Artist," with 10 nods--were both indy flicks, as were fellow Best Picture nominees "Midnight in Paris" and "The Tree of Life."
  • By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs
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  • January 25, 2012 2:58 PM
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Oscar Stats: Keeping Score

Here's a breakdown of this year's Oscar nominations by film, ranging from most to least.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2012 12:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Watch: A Clip from the Oscar-Nominated Football Doc 'Undefeated'

Harvey Weinstein was a happy man Tuesday, earning 10 nominations for Oscar front runner "The Artist," Meryl Streep and makeup for "The Iron Lady," costumes for Madonna's "W.E." and even a nomination for the football doc "Undefeated."
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 25, 2012 11:44 AM
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