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Sundance Dealbook: Searchlight Lands Martha Marcy May Marlene, Magnolia/Participant Get Page One

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 24, 2011 at 10:36AM

During my panel today with Page One director Andrew Rossi and his star subject, NYT media columnist David Carr, at Sundance's Bing Bar on Main, a man came over and told me that Magnolia/Participant had acquired the film. So I broke the news to the press conference--if not in this blog. You can only do one thing at a time. On Saturday I had just told Participant's Jim Berk and Ricki Strauss how much I liked the doc, which I watched before the fest. They told me they were looking for movies to partner on. Participant effectively got word out to movie audiences on An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman through their activist outreach. This smart look at the ways technology and the internet are changing and threatening the New York Times, among other newspapers, will need help to break out beyond the narrow art-house niche. Magnolia plans a summer release.
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Thompson on Hollywood

During my panel today with Page One director Andrew Rossi and his star subject, NYT media columnist David Carr, at Sundance's Bing Bar on Main, a man came over and told me that Magnolia/Participant had acquired the film. So I broke the news to the press conference--if not in this blog. You can only do one thing at a time. On Saturday I had just told Participant's Jim Berk and Ricki Strauss how much I liked the doc, which I watched before the fest. They told me they were looking for movies to partner on. Participant effectively got word out to movie audiences on An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman through their activist outreach. This smart look at the ways technology and the internet are changing and threatening the New York Times, among other newspapers, will need help to break out beyond the narrow art-house niche. Magnolia plans a summer release.

Fox Searchlight picked up worldwide rights to another movie Monday, after the romance Homework: Sean Durkin's tongue-twister-titled Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of the Olsen twins) as a disturbed woman in recovery after fleeing a cult lead by John Hawkes (Winter's Bone). (I took video of the press conference here.)

Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Chris Maybach and Patrick Cunningham produced the film with Ted Hope, Matt Palmieri, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim and Alexander Schepsman as executive producers and Andrew Corkin as co-producer. Searchlight will release the film later this year.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Sundance, Independents, Drama, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.