Where Can You See 2011 Sundance Films? Our Guide To All The Distribution Deals

By Josh Tyler 2011-01-30 22:27:56discussion comments
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Where Can You See 2011 Sundance Films? Our Guide To All The Distribution Deals image
The 2011 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up today with the announcement of the festival's competition winners.  But the real winners are the movies with distribution deals, the films those of us who weren't in Park City may actually have a shot at seeing in a movie theater some day. 

By now you're sick of sitting on the outside looking in while CB's Katey Rich has all the festival fun, so we've put together this handy guide to those Sundance movies with distribution deals including a color-coded breakdown of the odds that you'll be able to see any of these films in your town.

As color coded below, movies with the best shot to show up in a movie theater near you are in blue while the ones you'll probably have to wait around for a DVD release to see are in an all too depressing grey.  This is just a list of the Sundance movies with distribution deals so far, stay tuned to Cinema Blend for more as they're announced.

Sundance 2011 Sales Guide

Another Earth
Acquired By: Fox Searchlight
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Fox Searchlight is the biggest, baddest indie distributor out there and this is an indie-movie with a lot of sci-fi elements which might help it play to wider audiences.  There's a chance they may make a real push with this movie, to get it into a larger number of markets.  No matter what, it's sure to get a theatrical release of some kind.
Synopsis: On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy irrevocably alters the lives of two strangers, who begin an unlikely love affair.
CB Video Review:
           
Bellflower
Acquired By: Oscilloscope
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Oscilloscope is a small independent film distributor.  Most recently they had a hand in getting movies like Howl out in limited releases. Unless you live in New York or LA odds are the only way you'll be able to see Bellflower is on DVD or maybe Netflix Instant Watch.
Synopsis: Woodrow and Aiden spend all of their free time building Mad Max-inspired flamethrowers and weapons of mass destruction in preparation for a global apocalypse in which their imaginary gang "Mother Medusa" can emerge on top.  But when Woodrow meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love, he and Aiden quickly integrate into a new group of friends, setting off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity, and extreme violence more devastating and fiery than any of their apocalyptic fantasies. 
Bengali Detective
Acquired By: Fox Searchlight
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Fox Searchlight is a big time distributor with the power to get this movie in as many theaters as they want.  However it's a documentary and it's rare that those ever make the jump to mainstream.  This isn't March of the Penguins, but it is the story of a detective's adventures in India.  That could have greater mass appeal than your average doc. 
Synopsis: In THE BENGALI DETECTIVE, Calcutta's criminal underworld is explored by intrepid private eye Rajesh Ji. Following both his investigations and Rajesh's pursuit of his dream to dance on Indian TV, THE BENGALI DETECTIVE provides a look at modern India through the eyes of one of its most unlikely heroes.
Circumstance
Acquired By: Participant Media
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Participant Media is a significant distributor with a few wider releases to their credit (like The Crazies), but this is unlikely to be one of them.  Expect it in limited release which means unless you're in New York or LA, your odds of seeing it in theaters aren't good.
Synopsis: First time writer-director's Maryam Keshavarz's suspenseful tale of forbidden love set in today's Iranian youth culture.
The Devil's Double
Acquired By: Lionsgate
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Most of Lionsgate's releases end up with something approximating a wide release, in one way or another. Whether or not they'll throw their full weight behind this particular purchase remains to be seen.
Synopsis: An extraordinary chapter in recent history providing a chilling vision of the House of Saddam comes to life through the eyes of the man who knew too much.
The Details
Acquired By: The Weinstein Company
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: The Weinstein Company does big releases and paid a pretty penny for the rights to this one. The movie's plot sounds like an artsy version of that horrible Brendan Fraser movie Furry Vengeance.  Better still it stars Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, and Ray Liotta. What I'm getting at here is that this has wide release written all over it. Expect to see it at your local multi-plex.
Synopsis: When hungry raccoons discover worms living under the sod in a young couple's backyard, the pest problem sets off a wild and absurd chain reaction of domestic tension, infidelity, organ donation and murder by way of bow and arrow.
The Future
Acquired By: Roadside Attractions
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Roadside Attractions has done well in the past with limited released like Javier Bardem's Biutiful but aren't normally known for big releases with enough push behind them to show up in Hope, Arkansas.  Plus, it's narrated by a cat. Expect a very limited release.
Synopsis: Tells the story of a couple planning to adopt a terminally ill cat.  Before doing that, somehow they become involved in all sorts of strange, existential adventures. 
The Guard
Acquired By: Sony Pictures Classics
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: The folks at SPC are the fine minds behind the distribution of such genius, widely released movies as Rachel Getting Married.  But they also handle a lot of art-house movies which never seem to get beyond one or two theaters.  This one has all the earmarks of a possible crowd pleaser though, so keep an eye out for it, at least in larger cities like Austin or Portland.
Synopsis: A small-town cop in Ireland (Brendan Gleeson) has a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a fondness for prostitutes and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international drug-smuggling ring that has brought a straight-laced FBI agent to his door. However, a surreal chain of events pulls him into the action.
Homework
Acquired By: Fox Searchlight
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Fox Searchlight knows big distribution and this sounds like the kind of movie that could benefit from the kind of wide distribution that'll get the word out to younger, teenaged crowds.  It may show up in your town.
Synopsis: Stars Freddie Highmore as George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who's made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, who is befriended by Sally, a beautiful and complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
Hot Coffee
Acquired By: HBO
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: HBO only paid in the six-figures range for it and it's a documentary, which probably means a debut on their cable channel or through video on demand.
Synopsis: Following subjects whose lives have been devastated by an inability to access the courts, this film shows that many long-held beliefs about our civil justice system have been paid for by corporate America.
I Melt With You
Acquired By: Magnolia Pictures
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Mark Cuban's indie-distributor isn't big on wide releases.  They're still locked into the day and day release model which probably means that even though the film has a pretty big-name cast, they'll give it a limited release while simultaneously making it available through On Demand and on DVD.  You'll be able to see it, just maybe not in theaters.
Synopsis: Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino and Sasha Grey star in the story of four friends on a drug and rock n' roll fueled trip together in Big Sur.
Knuckle
Acquired By: ContentFilm International
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Content International generally sticks with pretty limited releases.  Unless you're in New York or LA, there's little chance you'll ever see this documentary.
Synopsis: An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting, this film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans.
The Last Mountain
Acquired By: Dada Films
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Dada has already announced that the film will be released on June 3, 2011 in the top 20 US markets. 
Synopsis:  A documentary about a coal mining corporation and a tiny community vie for the last great mountain in Appalachia in a battle for the future of energy that affects us all.
The Ledge
Acuired By: IFC Films
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: IFC Films usually sticks to limited releases and On Demand, but an all-star cast may prompt them to give The Ledge a bigger than usual distribution.
Synopsis: In this race-against-time thriller, the opposing philosophies of two men embroiled in 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, a while a policeman (Howard) tries to convince him to come down.
Life in a Day
Acquired By: National Geographic Films
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: Most recently they were responsible for the distribution of the acclaimed documentary Restrepo, which most people seemed to see through Netflix Instant Watch.  Expect much the same for Life in a Day.  Besides, the movie already debuted on YouTube.
Synopsis: Every day, 6.7 billion people view the world through their own unique lens. Imagine if there was a way to collect all of these perspectives and to mold them into the cohesive story of a single day on earth.
CB Video Review:            
Like Crazy
Acquired By: Paramount
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town:  For a major distributor like Paramount to get in on the bidding war for this movie says something about it.  That something is that there's a good chance you'll be able to see it, even if you're living in Waco, TX.  Watch for it.
Synopsis: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence star in the story of a young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship.
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Acquired By: Fox Searchlight
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: As always Fox Searchlight has the ability to release this one as wide as they want to.  Whether or not it shows up anywhere outside of NYC and LA I suspect will depend in large part on how audiences respond to it.
Synopsis:  Stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult.
CB Video Review:            
Margin Call
Acquired By: Lionsgate & Roadside Attractions
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: With an all-star cast and doubled up distribution plans are already under way to give Margin Call a significant theatrical release.
Synopsis: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, and Stanley Tucci star in a story set around a 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. There key people at a investment bank struggle to decide how to handle an emergency business situation while examining the personal and moral implications of every action they take.
The Music Never Stopped
Acuired By: Roadside Attractions
Odds That It'll Play In Your Town: No official word on the release plans for this one, but since it's Roadside don't expect a huge release, even though it sports a few significant names.
Synopsis: J.K. Simmons and Julia Ormond star in the story of a father struggling to bond with his estranged son who suffers a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories.
CB Video Review:            
My Idiot Brother
Acquired By: The Weinstein Company
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: With an all-star cast and The Weinstein Company behind it, chances are good that this will get a wide enough release to show up even in places as relatively remote as Grand Haven, MI.
Synopsis: Ned Rochlin (Paul Rudd) looks for the good in every situation and in everyone, which often puts him at odds with the world around him – especially his family.  Upon being released from jail for a stupid mistake, Ned is kicked off of the organic farm he lives and works on by his ex-girlfriend Janet (Hahn) who also insists on keeping his beloved dog, Willie Nelson. Having nowhere else to go, he turns to his family, three ambitious sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer) and an overbearing mother (Shirley Knight).  Ned crashes at each of their homes, in succession, and brings honesty, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives. In other words, he wreaks havoc.
Perfect Sense
Acquired By: IFC Films
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: It's a romantic thriller, which could give it wider appeal, but IFC is more likely to give it a limited release and ship it straight to TV and DVD.
Synopsis: Perfect Sense follows Susan (Green), an epidemiologist, who reemerges from an affair gone sour, and encounters a peculiar patient—a truck driver who experienced a sudden, uncontrollable crying fit. Now he is calm, but he has lost his sense of smell. Susan soon learns there are hundreds of people across the globe beginning to suffer strange symptoms, affecting the emotions, then the senses.
Page One
Acquired By: Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: They only paid in the mid-six figures for it, which means there isn't a huge financial commitment here. It's also a documentary, which always makes it a tough sell for wider distribution. Expect some kind of theatrical release, but probably not in Boise, Idaho.
Synopsis: Page One unfolds over the course of 2010, one of the most tumultuous years for print journalism since the invention of the printing press, with online media continuing to reinvent the rules and some of the oldest print newspaper institutions in the country forced to close or drastically reduce their operations. Along the course of the year, director Rossi was given unprecedented access to the editorial process at the New York Times.
Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Acquired By: Sony Pictures Classics
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: Morgan Spurlock is behind one of the most financially successful documentaries of all time and early word on this one is a lot better than it was on his last one.  That could mean big things for The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, maybe even a wide enough release to show up in your average movie theater megaplex.
Synopsis:  Why not let Morgan explain the movie himself…            
Project Nim
Acquired By: Roadside Attractions
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: Roadside will handle the theatrical distribution but HBO has the TV rights and Lionsgate has DVD. It's from the team behind the much loved doc Man on Wire, which may help, but how wide a release this gets may depends on how audiences respond to an initial limited release.
Synopsis:  The story of Nim, a chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child.
CB Video Review:            
Red State
Acquired By: No One
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: Writer/director Kevin Smith has decided to distribute the movie himself and to that end is taking it on a multi-state roadshow tour where he'll show the movie and answer questions about it while selling tickets for $50 or $60 dollars.  Once he's done with the tour, the film will get some sort of theatrical release (announced as October 19th), but since it doesn't really have a distributor it's hard to know what kind of a release that will be.  Don't expect much unless you're in a large city with money to burn on the Q&A showings.
Synopsis: The movie takes direct aim at fundamentalist groups, providing for villains a small, hyper-religious sect who protest funerals for gay people and preach of the imminent rapture.
Salvation Boulevard
Acquired By: IFC Films & Sony Pictures
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: With both IFC and Sony partnering on this one they'll want to make the most of it. That plus an all-star cast may guarantee a fairly wide release. Keep an eye out for it.
Synopsis: Pastor Dan (Pierce Brosnan) is a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl (Greg Kinnear) is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The megachurch is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence.
Silent  House
Acquired By: Liddell Entertainment
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: Liddell doesn't exactly have a huge distribution track record. Expect a pretty limited release.  They did however pay seven figures for the movie, which suggests a real commitment to getting it out there.  Word is they're working with other big distributors to get the film in the public eye, this may get a significant but limited release.
CB Video Review:            
Tabloid
Acquired By: IFC Films
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: IFC is planning a simultaneous theatrical and video on demand release for the summer of 2011. Since it's day and date, don't expect the theatrical release to be very wide.
Synopsis: Errol Morris further redefines and pushes the boundaries of documentary film with the tale of Joyce McKinney and the infamous “Case of the Manacled Mormon.”  In 1977, Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney flew to England with a pilot and a bodyguard to abduct the love of her life.  Or was it to liberate him from a cult? Joyce, all of the people that cross her path, and the British tabloids help construct an epic RASHOMON-like tale that is as hilarious as it is unbelievable.  Part black comedy, part film noir.
These Amazing Shadows
Acquired By: IFC Films
Odds That It'll Show Up In Your Town: Technically the movie already debuted online so don't expect much beyond television viewing for this documentary.
Synopsis: The history and importance of the National Film Registry unfolds in a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.

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