Wednesday and Thursday were days seven and eight at Sundance, and it winds down on January 29. Premieres are few and far between now. I’ve read more than a few articles about the cautious behavior of distributors, the dearth of breakout films this year, and the apparent success story of day and date distribution. More on that later as I find out more about it myself!
Writer-director Ava DuVernay’s much-lauded film Middle of Nowhere has been picked up by Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media and the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement for distribution. Read the story here on Reuters. This is big news, people!!!!
Days 7 & 8
Among the films by women screened at Sundance on days seven and eight were the following titles. Many of the films previously listed here on Her Film also screened, but as they’ve been mentioned before, they will not be listed along with other titles which are premiering. Titles previously mentioned which screened on days seven and eight include directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia, director Lise Birk Pedersen’s Putin’s Kiss, writer-director Alice Rohrwacher’s Corpo Celeste and more. Check out the trailers for the films by clicking on the highlighted link below.
Director Lise Birk Pedersen’s feature-length documentary Putin’s Kiss has been picked up by UK-based distributor, Dogwoof, the distributor of the recent UK-screened Dreams of a Life by Carol Morley. Dogwoof has theatrical distro rights for the UK, and the film is being planned for release this year.
With such a relatively high price paid for distribution rights in one country, Dogwoof must be expecting that Pedersen’s film will be enthusiastically embraced by the British film-going public. Read the Screen International story from earlier today.
Trailer for Putin’s Kiss:
Screenwriters Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Anne Miller see their film For a Good Time, Call… picked up by Focus Features for theatrical distribution, for just over $2M for worldwide rights. Read the Deadline story complete with a Focus Features press release.
Storyline (from imdb):Lauren and Katie, college frenemies with a mutual good friend, move in together at age 28 in order to afford an amazing Gramercy Park apartment. The unlikely pair start a phone sex line and become best friends while learning about this hilarious world of vibrators, fake orgasms and nighttime callers. When the hot line is hung up and reality comes calling, the most meaningful relationship of their lives is put to the test.
Celeste and Jesse Forever, co-written by and starring Rashida Jones, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. Theatrical distro rights include North America, Latin America and Eastern Europe. I’ve read tweets and other bits about this film that seem to say it was a given that it’d be a standout at Sundance this year. With comedy star-power like Rashida Jones, backed up by SNL cast member Andy Samberg, how could it not? Variety indicates that the price was $2M (but no word on what territories the rights apply to, yet). Read the Screen Daily story for a few more details on the SPC deal.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, co-written by Lucy Alibar, was finally picked up after a few days of speculation in the press (and by more than a few brokers, I’m sure). Fox Searchlight secured theatrical distribution rights, but I haven’t found anything yet on what was paid.
Updates: Director Katie Aselton’s feature film, Black Rock, as I’ve mentioned here on the blog a couple of times already, was picked up by LD Distribution, but I’ve finally found a figure through Variety that says the price was $1M. No word yet on the territories that distribution covers: worldwide, U.S., who knows?
I predicted yesterday that Leslye Headland’s feature Bachelorette would be picked up during or soon after the Sundance Film Festival, and Sharon Waxman over at The Wrap seems to think so, too. Interesting comparison with John Hughes’ movies, but let’s just hope Headland gave her film a heart like Hughes did with every film he ever made. And, uh, I can’t stand the comment about Gloria Steinem at the end of the article! Read and share in my painy pissed-offness.
Apparently on Sunday (day 4 of Sundance), director Julie Dash finalized a deal to direct Tupelo ’77, a feature film written by Rich Mancuso. From a Reuters news article (scroll to “Also on Sunday” heading for details), the film is described as a story “set in a small town in Mississippi in the summer of 1977. It tells the story of a group of women of various ages and races who are regulars at a roadside diner. The summer of 1977 — the year Elvis Presley died — is the hottest on record in Mississippi.” Shooting begins summer 2012; casting has begun. I am SO excited about this!
Among the films by women screened at Sundance on day five were the following titles. Check out the trailers for the films by clicking on the highlighted links below. How pathetic, I could only find one trailer! It seems there are very few Sundance movie trailers out now.
2 Days in New York (writer-director Julie Delpy)
The Atomic States of America (co-director Sheena M. Joyce; based on book by Kelly McMasters)
Bachelorette (writer-director Leslye Headland)
Daughters of the Dust (writer-director Julie Dash) Film released in 1991, this is part of a series of films being shown again to Sundance audiences.
My Best Day (writer-director Erin Greenwell) (Thanks to Harris Doran for posting a comment with a link to the YouTube trailer.)
Slavery by Another Name (writer Sheila Curran Bernard)
Young & Wild (writer-director Marialy Rivas; Rivas credited writer with Camila Gutierrez and two male writers)
Your Sister’s Sister (writer-director Lynn Shelton)
Agnieszka Holland’s latest film In Darkness makes the Oscars shortlist for Best Foreign-Language Film. Holland is the only female director on the shortlist of nine feature films.
Amongst the shortlist are four films from Europe, one film from North America, two films from the Middle East, one film from Asia and one film from Africa. Writer-directors seemed to be the multi-hyphenate celebre of the shortlist this year. Almost every film had a writer-director.
Denmark – Superclasico (Ole Christian Madsen, dir.)
Germany – Pina (Wim Wenders, dir.)
Iran – A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, dir.)
Israel – Footnote (Joseph Cedar, dir.)
Morocco – Omar Killed Me (Roschdy Zem, dir.)
Poland – In Darkness (Agnieszka Holland, dir.)
Taiwan – Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Wei Te-sheng, dir.)
Trailer for Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness
Huffington Post is doing a great series this month on the 64 short films selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Titled Sundance Diaries, the filmmakers themselves write diary entries talking about their experiences making their films and getting the notification from Sundance that they’d been selected. The festival officially kicks off tomorrow and runs for about 10 days. I’ll have consistent Sundance coverage throughout the next week and half. Check out some diaries from women filmmakers: