Distributors are also chasing U.S. rights to Ryan Coogler's true story "Fruitvale," which was backed by Sundance workshops and San Francisco Film Society filmmaker grants. Weinstein Co. grabbed the title for $2.5 million just after Fox Searchlight stopped bidding. Paramount Vantage and CBS were reportedly also interested.
Weinstein Co. already owns foreign rights to "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," and may pick up its domestic option as well. The movie is the critical smash of the festival, a gorgeous magic-hour classic neo-western in the Terrence Malick tradition from another Austin filmmaker, jack-of-all-trades David Lowery. The noir stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as an ill-fated couple, with terrific supporting performances from Ben Foster, Keith Carradine and Nate Parker.
Other deals so far have been much smaller, from docs "The Summit" and "Dirty Wars" (Sundance Selects) to coming-of-age romance "Spectacular Now" (rookie distrib A24) and "Austenland," which was sold to Film District and Exclusive Releasing.
Likely to outpace "Don Jon's Addiction" is Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight," the third in the series created by Linklater and his stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The movie played Sunday night to rapturous reception--it's smart, sharp and digs into the married couple 18 years after their romantic first encounter in "Before Sunrise," and nine years since their reconnection in "Before Sunset." Cinetic Media's John Sloss is handling the sale--many distributors were prepared to bid before the festival, but he insisted on showing it first here. He had reason for that confidence.
The fest hits "Kill Your Darlings" and David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche," NEXT sniper pic "Blue Caprice" and doc "Anita" are also heating up interest, along with well-made genre remake "We Are What We Are" and "S-VHS," which this year's reviewers liked better than the previous Sundance horror omnibus entry "V/H/S," which was released by Magnolia, which is expected to chase this as well.