Sony Strikes Early at Sundance By Acquiring "Station"
by Eugene Hernandez
Park City, UT -- On the eve of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, Park City was making final preparations for the onslaught. There was still parking available on Main Street and a fresh coat of paint drying on the Egyptian Theater yesterday when word came that Sony Pictures Classics had acquired domestic rights to "Central Station", a film by Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles ("Foreign Land"). It is set to premiere here on Monday. Salles is no stranger to Sundance, he received the festival's inaugural Cinema 100 Sundance International Award two years ago and joined forces with legendary producer Arthur Cohn ("The Garden of the Finzi Contini's") to make "Station". Sony Classics was the first company to meet with Salles following his award win here in '96 and the company also released Cohn's "Contini's".
Reached in Switzerland late yesterday, Arthur Cohn told indieWIRE that he "had a very solid, positive experience with (Sony Classics) in regard to Finzi Contini" and explained, "I respect their integrity and I believe in their experience and in their solid advice." For Cohn, the trip to Park City this weekend will not only offer a high-profile world premiere, but an opportunity to, as Cohn said, "thank Geoff (Gilmore), Rebecca (Yeldham) and the others for their wonderful creative input in supporting the project at the initial stage."
The deal with Sony secures distribution in the United States and English-speaking Canada. Cohn told indieWIRE yesterday that he will meet with Sony Classics next week in Park City to firm a release date. Additionally, he said the film will be screening in the official competition at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival.