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Acquisitions

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    iW NEWS | Searchlight Gets "Choke"

    The day after the world premiere of Clark Gregg's "Choke," Fox Searchlight acquired the film at the Sundance Film Festival and is expected to formally announce the deal soon. Described by Sundance as, a "dark comedy about mothers and sons, sexual compulsion, and the sordid underbellly of Colonial th...

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    iW NEWS | Overture Takes Pellington's "Poole"

    Mark Pellington's "Henry Poole Is Here" has been acquired by Overture Films in a deal for U.S. rights brokered with Lakeshore Entertainment. The film, which debuted on Monday afternoon in Park City, stars Luke Wilson as, in the words of an announcement, "a disillusioned man who goes hiding in placid suburbia only to discover he cannot escape the forces of hope." Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Richard Wright along with Gary Gilbert and Tom Lassally produced the film for Lakeshore. It was written by Albert Torres and also stars Radha Mitchell, George Lopez, and newcomers Rachel Seiferth and Morgan Lily. "We were moved by Mark Pellington's poi...

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    iW NEWS | Focus Gets "Hamlet 2" for $10 Million

    Andrew Fleming's "Hamlet 2" has been acquired by Focus Features in a $10 million worldwide deal swiftly sealed within 12 hours of the film's world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was produced by L+E Pictures' Eric Eisner & Leonid Rozhetskin and Aaron Ryder, from an original script by Fleming and Pam Brady. In the words of a description, "In the irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan) rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Cast joining Coogan include David Arquette, Melonie Diaz, Catherine Keener,...

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    iW NEWS | POV Lands "Traces of the Trade"

    Katrina Browne's "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North" has scored a deal with PBS's "POV," she announced on Monday night at the film's first screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Screening in the documentary competition, the film is an exploration of the first-time filmmaker's family history. Browne's ancestors, the deWolfs, were the largest slave-trading family in United States history. From 1769 to 1820, three generations of De Wolfs brought over more than 10,000 Africans. Browne wrote to more than 200 family descendents, inviting them to join her in on a journey to trace the family's legacy in a trip from Ghana to Cuba. Nin...

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    iW NEWS | "The Wave" Signs Canada, U.K. and Spanish Deals

    Dennis Gansel's Sundance World Dramatic Competition film, "The Wave" has entered deals in three territories, Celluloid Dreams announced Sunday. Alliance Films acquired the rights for Canada, while Momentum Pictures will release in the U.K., and Aurum will handle Spain. The deal was negotiated between Xavier Marchand and Robert Walakfor the filmmakers and Hengameh Panahi and Pierre Menahem from Celluloid. The film, based on a novel by Morton Rhue and is required reading in German schools, is the story of a high school teacher Rainer Wenger (Juergen Vogel) who comes up with an experiment in order to explain to his students how totalitarian gove...

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    iW NEWS | HBO Confirms "Polanski" Deal; Plans Oscar Qualifying Run

    HBO Documentary Films confirmed it has picked up all U.S. rights to writer/director/producer Marina Zenovich's Sundance Film Festival doc competition film "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" and the company confirmed that plans to will give it an Oscar qualifying this year. The film, which had its...

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    iW NEWS | ESPN Is "Kicking It"

    ESPN announced that it has acquired Sundance soccer documentary "Kicking It." Produced by Ted Leonsis (who executive produced last year's "Nanking") and directed by Susan Koch, "Kicking It" details the lives of seven soccer players from six countries as they participate in the 4th annual Homeless World Cup. ESPN will retain exclusive television rights worldwide, and execute the film's digital distribution while working with the filmmakers to secure theatrical, DVD and other distribution. "'Kicking It" speaks to the perseverance of the human spirit and the global impact of sport," said Keith Clinkscales, ESPN senior vice president of content ...

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    iW NEWS | Weinstein Picks Up Int'l for "Polanski" in Park City

    Director Marina Zenovich's Sundance doc "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" has been acquired internationally by The Weinstein Company, the company announced Saturday morning. The international deal excludes all U.S. and Canadian rights, as well as U.K. television rights. A pact for the remaining rights is expected to close today in Park City. The film had its world premiere last night at Sundance with buyers and industry buzzing about the film afterward. "Polanski," screening in the festival's doc competition, chronicles the private tragedy and scandal that led to the legendary Polish-born film-makers exile from the United States. Michal Po...

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    iW NEWS | Celluloid Picks up "Ballast" Outside U.S.

    All international rights outside the U.S. to Sundance Film Festival dramatic competition title "Ballast" by Lance Hammer have been acquired by Paris-based sales outfit Celluloid Dreams. William Morris Independent is repping the film for both domestic and international rights. The film follows the st...

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    iW NEWS | HBO Announces "Black List" Acquisition

    In the third documentary deal timed to the opening day of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, HBO Documentary Films has announced its acquisition of domestic TV rights to Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Elvis Mitchell's "The Black List: Volume One," which is having its world premiere in the Spectrum section on Tuesday at Sundance. The film is described as being "composed of dramatic portraits of some of today's most fascinating and influential African-American icons," including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sean Combs, Mahlon Duckett, Thelma Golden, Lou Gossett, Jr., Bill T. Jones, Vernon Jordan, Marc Morial, Toni Morrison, Suzanne-Lori Parks, Richard Par...

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