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Sundance Deal Update: ‘Simon Killer,’ ‘Chasing Ice,’ ‘The Pact’

Sundance Deal Update: 'Simon Killer,' 'Chasing Ice,' 'The Pact'

With many of the biggest buyers heading home with depleted wallets, smaller deals are playing out. IFC Films is in final talks to acquire “Simon Killer,” a psychological drama; this is IFC’s second acquisition after writer-director-actor Josh Radnor’s “Liberal Arts.”   

Reviews for “Simon Killer” are mixed; The Guardian calls it “an oppressive but technically excellent study of cunning and manipulation.” The Playlist writes that the movie “transforms [the protagonist’s] downward spiral into a noir-tinged, noose-tightening ordeal and confirms Antonio Campos, if not the entire Borderline Films outfit, as a filmmaker/team to be reckoned with.” The Hollywood Reporter rejects it: “There is little to compensate for the cold and nasty nature of ‘Simon Killer,’ an unpalatable Franco-American entrée one would like to send back to wherever it came from.”

IFC Midnight acquired North American rights to writer-director Nicholas McCarthy’s Midnight horror flick “The Pact,” which follows two sisters returning to their childhood home.  Another Midnight film to sell was Katie Aselton’s “Black Rock”, which sold to Mickey Liddell and David Dinerstein’s new LD Entertainment.

In the documentary world, it’s not surprising that the National Geographic Channel acquired television rights to “Chasing Ice.” This Jeff Orlowski documentary earned praise for its stunning cinematography of melting polar ice–the movie follows nature photographer James Balong. (Our exclusive clip is here.)

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