PARK CITY 2001 BUZZ UPDATE: Sundance Biz, Online Rights, Doc Tour, and Party Quote
by Maud Kersnowski /indieWIRE
>> Soderbergh Nabs Two DGA Nominations
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- Four directors fill the five slots for this year's
Directors Guild of America directing nominees. Not surprisingly, Steven
Soderbergh secured two nominations this year, one for "Traffic" and the
other for "Erin Brockovich." Cameron Crowe was nominated for "Almost Famous," while Ang Lee was singled out for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and rounding out the list was Ridley Scott for "Gladiator."
Soderbergh was a double nominee for the Golden Globe awards, but lost to
director Ang Lee. The winner of the DGA award typically wins the Oscar for
Best Director. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> CORRECTION: "Haiku Tunnel" Still On the Market
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- The Sundance film "Haiku Tunnel" was not acquired by
Sony Pictures Classics, as was reported earlier today in indieWIRE. We
apologize for the error.
>> Searchlight Signs Super Troopers, and a Correction
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- The first big deal of Sundance was finally inked yesterday. Fox Searchlight handed over just under $3 million for worldwide rights to "Super Troopers," Jay Chandrasekhar and the Broken Lizard Comedy Group's tale of bungling Vermont police. Tickets to the flick's midnight premiere were in such high demand the film's reps were scrambling for seats at the last minute. John
Sloss of Sloss Special Projects negotiated the deal with Searchlight
President Peter Rice and Executive VP Joseph DeMarco. Searchlight arrived in Park City already in possession of the U.S. rights to another Sundance film,
Sloss's team reps not only "Super Troopers" but several other films that look
likely to make deals before closing night. Scott McGehee's "The Deep End"
already sold its European rights and is positioning for a domestic contract.
"Raw Deal: A Question of Consent" has both cable and theatrical interest. "The
Business of Strangers" is also in play.
CORRECTION: Sony Classics did not sign "Haiku Tunnel," Jacob and Josh Kornbluth's comedy about the tragedy of full-time jobs, for an undisclosed amount. Other films distributors are sniffing around include Todd Field's "In the Bedroom" and "The Doe Boy" directed by Randy Redroad.
>> SearchParty Pics Pics
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- SearchParty Films will announce their first acquisitions
at a party today in Park City. The slate includes "Drop Back Ten" directed by
Stacy Cochran, Edward A. Radtke's "The Dream Catch," Tony Barbieri's "The Magic of Marciano," Philip Kan Gotanda's "Life Tastes Good," Jonathan Weiss' "The Atrocity Exhibition," Bryan Simon's "Along for the Ride," Mary Kuryla's "Freak Weather," and Shaya Mercer's "Trade Off."
>> Fight For Your Rights
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- The film industry is edging toward the same digital/copyright dilemma that rocked the music industry via Napster and other "peer-to-peer" sites for the last two years. Questions on security of online distribution, commercial viability and copyright control have become issues every filmmaker needs to be educated about.
"Yesterday's recording industry concerns will be tomorrow's intellectual
property community problems, says CEO of the Recording Industry Association
of America, Hilary Rosen. Rosen, the woman who became a national figure by
suing Napster, continued: "Working together I believe it's possible to
establish an important set of ground rules today that will provide for a
fair and exciting online entertainment market of the future." "In the last four years, filmmakers have spent a lot of time giving away content," says Julia Fenster, V.P. of Film and Video Broadcasting for Reciprocal, a digital rights management firm. "It's really important filmmakers understand there's a bigger picture, that they start really
asking questions of where their content is going to go and how they're going
Many companies are warehousing rights, betting that in the future vast
intellectual property libraries will turn out to be lucrative investments.
But this doesn't help artists get their work in front of audiences or
monatize their copyrighted material. "Filmmakers need to be careful of
companies who don't have any intention of using them in future," Atom Films'
Senior Manager of Animation and Aquistion, Cory Wynne, told indieWIRE.
Several panels addressing questions facing filmmakers in the online age will
take place this week. Today, indieWIRE editor-in-chief Eugene Hernandez is
moderating a Sundance panel titled "Artists Control Their Rights on the
On Tuesday, Silicon Alley Reporter Chief Jason McCabe Calacanis kicks off a
discussion on "Movies on the Web: The Content Providers." Entertainment
consultant Peter Dekom wraps up the panel series on Friday with "Convergence
Media: Independent Strategies." [Maud Kersnowski]
>> Sundance Docs On Tour
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- Sundance Documentaries are hitting the road this
spring Nicole Guillemet, Sundance Co-director and patron saint of the House of Docs told indieWIRE. The tour kicks off with a New York March opening and moves to San Francisco in April. Sundance will be partnering with as yet
unannounced organizations in both cities. "New York and San Francisco may
seem like the obvious places." Guillemet says, "Everything we're doing in
the next few years is testing the ground." If the first two cites are
successful Guillemet hopes expand the docs tour into wider variety of venues
>> Go Away Unless You're Famous
(indieWIRE/01.23.01) -- "The Party's closed! You're not getting in unless you're a celebrity. And I don't recognize any of you!"