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Sundance Dealbook: IFC Gets The Ledge, Searchlight Does Homework, Sundance Selects Adds Buck

by Anne Thompson
January 24, 2011 6:28 AM
2 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Sundance deals continued to play out in a more active market. On Sunday Fox Searchlight picked up most worldwide rights (for $3 million) to rookie director Gavin Wiesen's high school romance Homework, starring Emma Roberts as a gorgeous girl who sees merit in lonely depressive Freddie Highmore. Produced by P. Jennifer Dana, Kara Baker, Gia Walsh and Darren Goldberg, the teen flick is set for 2011 release. The trades didn't go for it: here's
Variety and THR.)

On Monday, IFC Films acquired U.S. rights to writer-director Matthew Chapman's grim suicide drama The Ledge, starring Liv Tyler, Terrence Howard, Charlie Hunnnam and Patrick Wilson, and produced by Mark Damon, which polarized audiences and critics at the fest. The film is entered in the dramatic competition. And Sundance Selects/IFC Films announced the pick-up of North American rights to Cindy Meehl's popular Horse Whisperer doc Buck (more details and trailer here), which is in the doc competition.

"The Ledge is a well-crafted and morally complex thriller that will really get people talking," said Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films. "Our entire company has fallen in love with Buck. Cindy Meehl's funny, deeply inspiring and crowd pleasing film about Buck Brannaman has ignited the passion of audiences in Park City and we're confident the rest of the country will feel the same."

Here's college student Nora Chute's take on Homework:

It's a fresh spin on the high school love story. It manages to take cliche components-- the smart but unmotivated loner, the pretty misunderstood girl, the over-worked mom--and create an honest story with just enough hollywood polish and fantasy. It was pleasant, funny, complex and accurate.
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More: Festivals, Sundance

2 Comments

  • Erica | January 25, 2011 9:04 AMReply

    Well I thought that this film was awesome. I went to the first screening and I'm a student living in NY and thought this was right on. It was so real, none of that hollywood bullshit.

    Turns out one of the producers is this artist my friend loves, Andrew Levitas. I'm pretty sure his art was in the movie too...

  • mary | January 24, 2011 11:31 AMReply

    Both Variety and Hollywood Reporter give bad reviews to "Homework", and the movie's star power isn't strong enough..... It isn't a good sign for the movie's box office potential.

    http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944376?refcatid=31
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/sundance-review-homework-74828

    Still, Fox Searchlight only paid $2 million to buy this movie, and they should be able to recoup their investment on worldwide ancillary deals alone.

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