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Sundance Video: James Marsh Talks HBO's Project Nim, Roadside Lands U.S. Theatrical Rights

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 28, 2011 at 12:38AM

James Marsh is a happy man. Not only did his stylish, unsettling and provocative doc Project Nim, about a chimp raised by a series of human parents during the 70s, land a berth at Tiffany cabler HBO, which bought all rights before the festival, but it went on to play well at Sundance (the awards show is Saturday) and will be released theatrically by Roadside. Here are reviews from THR, Variety and indieWIRE.
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Thompson on Hollywood

James Marsh is a happy man. Not only did his stylish, unsettling and provocative doc Project Nim, about a chimp raised by a series of human parents during the 70s, land a berth at Tiffany cabler HBO, which bought all rights before the festival, but it went on to play well at Sundance (the awards show is Saturday) and will be released theatrically by Roadside. Here are reviews from THR, Variety and indieWIRE.

Roadside gained heat during the fest thanks to landing six Oscar nominations not only for foreign film Biutiful and star Javier Bardem for best actor, but four nominations including best picture for Winter's Bone. They know how to market, and are backed by deep-pocketed Lionsgate, which puts them in a strong position. Lionsgate will take DVD rights to Nim. Also, HBO chose Roadside after Magnolia/Participant acquired New York Times doc Page One, reports Variety.

Marsh is notable not only for his Oscar-winning Man on Wire, which utilized a mix of reenactments, archive footage and interviews in a clever way, but he is a documentarian who can also function well in the narrative sphere (which is not always the case). Check out his installment of the Red Riding Trilogy. We met at HBO's jampacked mountain-top party at Sundance (attended by Morgan Spurlock, Sheila Nevins, Liz Garbus, Ondi Timoner, Alex Gibney) and then attempted to recapture some of our talk on Flip Cam, below.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Independents, Video, TV, Sundance, Documentaries, Lionsgate/Roadside, Interviews , HBO


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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.