Sundance Enters Brief Lull after Explosive Bout of Deals

By Kay, Jeremy | Screen International, January 29, 2020 | Go to article overview

Sundance Enters Brief Lull after Explosive Bout of Deals


Kay, Jeremy, Screen International


The Glorias, The 40-Year-Old Version, The Fight on the radar.

After an explosive bout of Sundance deal-making on Sunday and Monday that demonstrated the buying power of streaming platforms, acquisitions teams were circling several available titles heading into Wednesday.

Besides a second buy from Sony Pictures Classics, buyers were catching their breath and weiging up options. In play at time of writing were, among others, Julie Taymor’s Gloria Steinem drama The Glorias starring Julianne Moore, Radha Blank’s breakout The 40-Year-Old Version, and Justin Simien’s Dear White People follow-up Bad Hair.

Hot documentaries include The Fight from Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres, Garrett Bradley’s Time, The Dissident from Bryan Fogel, and On The Record (pictured) from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering – recently back on the market after Oprah Winfrey pulled it from Apple TV+.

So far streamers have been the story of the market, stumping up eight figures here and there for titles at a time when traditional buyers have remarked on the perceived lack of theatrical playability among those films in Park City without distribution attached.

The exception has been Searchlight Pictures, which kicked things off at the weekend when it reportedly paid $12m for worldwide rights to Anton’s Rebecca Hall horrorThe Night Housefollowing a deal with Endeavor Content. Lionsgate also picked up US rights to Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessie Buckley and Rachel Brosnahan espionage drama Ironbark from FilmNation and UTA Independent Film Group.

However by and large it has been about the streamers. Hulu partnered with Neon on the biggest deal Sundance has ever seen, paying $17. …

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Sundance Enters Brief Lull after Explosive Bout of Deals
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