Sundance 2011 Distribution Acquisitions: IFC Makes A Splash, My Idiot Brother And More Find Distributors

With Sundance coming to an end soon, a cavalcade of films have finally found distribution, in what has been quite a busy few days.

Since the start of Sundance 2011 late last week, many    hotly talked about films have seen their rights be picked up by various distributors, big or small.

First, and most directly related to the Criterion Collection, IFC has picked up the rights to the thriller, The Ledge, starring Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler and Charlie Hunnam.    The film follows a ‘complicated love triangle with a beautiful woman (Liv Tyler) escalate into a lethal battle of wills.   Ultimately, the believer (Patrick Wilson) forces the non-believer (Charlie Hunnam) onto the ledge of a tall building.   He gives him one hour to make a choice between his own life and someone else’s, while a policeman (Howard) tries to convince him to come down. Without faith of an afterlife, will he be capable of such a sacrifice? THE LEDGE is a nuanced character study of love and conviction that will force you to ask how far you’d be willing to go for what you believe in.’    Now, while it will remain to be seen if this film will be added to the Criterion Collection, but never say never when it comes to the IFC/Criterion team up, so we will definitely have much more on this film as it comes.

IFC has also nabbed up the rights to the Ewan McGregor and Eva Green film, Perfect Sense.  The film follows a couple who must deal with a world wide crisis after humans lose the ability to emote or use their senses.  Personally, while I find it hard to believe that this film will ultimately end up as an IFC/Criterion release on home video, it has been met with relatively positive buzz, so it’s no less interesting a picture.  Hopefully we’ll see this one relatively soon. Finally, IFC has also nabbed up the rights to Salvation Boulevard, with a duel deal with partners Sony.  The film has an impeccable cast, including Greg Kinnear and the always wonderful Jennifer Connelly, but was met with middling reviews coming out of its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  Here’s what THR had to say about the film:

Pierce Brosnan,  Greg Kinnear,  Jennifer Connelly,  Marisa Tomei and  Ed Harris star in the story of a duplicitous preacher, a former deadhead, a true believer, a security guard, an atheistic novelist and an antique handgun that collide in comedic ways. DirectorGeorge Ratliff (Hell House) co-wrote the screenplay with  Doug Max Stone; it’s based on the novel by  Larry Beinhart.

Fox Searchlight has also made their weight felt within Park City, after picking up the rights to the Gavin Wiesen directed indie flick, Homework.    Starring Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts, this film has found a lot less buzz, particularly after middling reviews coming out from the film’s premiere.

The Weistein Company has picked up the rights to the Paul Rudd-starrer My Idiot Brother, which has become one of the festival’s early hits, and Anchor Bay has made their first purchase, the Antonio Banderas starring thriller, The Big Bang.

However, as far as distribution stories go, none are bigger than what Kevin Smith has done.

Following the premiere of his latest film, Red State (which received very mixed reviews), the director announced that he will be not only taking the film on a road show style tour starting on March 5 at Radio City Music Hall in NY, but he will be self distributing the film on October 19.    A move that has launched the online world into a frenzy, we will have much more on this as it comes.    Personally, I think it’s a much less original move than Smith thinks it is, but then again, originality doesn’t quite seem to be his calling card as of late. Now, joking and facetious prodding aside, I do really have high expectations for this film, and despite what you may say about the filmmaker, it’s nice to see him go back to some sort of indie roots.    That said, it’s all for naught, as his silly, curmudgeonly antics truly take away from all of that.

What do you think?

Source: Deadline / Deadline / Deadline

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