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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance News: Entertainment One Acquires Psychological Thriller 'Wish You Were Here'

Entertainment One has purchased North American rights to the Australian Sundance opener "Wish You Were Here." Directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith, the mystery thriller stars Joel Edgerton ("Warrior" and Baz Luhrmann's upcoming "The Great Gatsby"). The movie will most likely be released in Fall of 2012. "Wish You Were Here" depicts what happens to three friends after one goes missing on a trip to Cambodia. It was criticized for weak plotting, but praised for its performances and production value.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 26, 2012 10:33 PM
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Sundance Deal Update: 'Simon Killer,' 'Chasing Ice,' 'The Pact'

With many of the biggest buyers heading home with depleted wallets, smaller deals are playing out. IFC Films is in final talks to acquire "Simon Killer," a psychological drama; this is IFC's second acquisition after writer-director-actor Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts."
  • By Nora Chute
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  • January 26, 2012 6:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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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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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Sundance Reviews: Sony Pictures Classics Pick-Up 'Celeste & Jesse Forever'

Sony Picture Classics has acquired all North American, Latin American, and Eastern European rights to Sundance Premiere title "Celeste & Jesse Forever."
  • By Nora Chute
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  • January 24, 2012 6:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Focus Acquires Raunchy Comedy 'For a Good Time, Call...'

Focus Features made its first buy at Sundance today, paying some $2 million to beat out rival bidders to acquire worldwide rights to first-time director Jamie Travis's "For a Good Time, Call..." The film, which had its world premiere this week in Park City, is a timely comedy about two young women with little in common who room together in New York. When the reserved Lauren finds out that Katie, her roommate, works part-time as a phone-sex operator, the two strike up a friendship and a business partnership to boot, starting their own 1-900 business.
  • By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs
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  • January 24, 2012 6:01 PM
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Gallo to Star in 'Don't Shoot the Piano Player' for '2 Days in New York' Star Alexandre Nahon

Vincent Gallo has agreed to star in “Don’t Shoot the Piano Player” for Alexandre Nahon, who will direct the feature film from his own script.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • January 24, 2012 5:56 PM
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Review Round-Up: Fox Searchlight Pick-Up 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Stuns and Impresses

The breakout hit of Sundance, Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," has critics gushing. After acquiring potential Academy contender "The Surrogate" for a cool $6 million for worldwide rights, Fox Searchlight closed a deal for "Beasts of the Southern Wild"as well. (Review round-up below.)
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • January 24, 2012 1:46 PM
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Sundance First Look: "Short Films, Big Ideas" and the Three-Minute Filmmaker Challenge

Maybe the best ideas do come in short films. That's the notion behind the Focus Forward which is launching its Filmmaker Challenge. The Filmmaker Challenge will select five winners, determined by a professional jury.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 23, 2012 3:28 PM
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