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Getting Picked Up In Park City

By Keiko Beatie
With all the receptions, cocktails parties, sponsor parties, galas, and music concerts to attend in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, the mingling of the singles and films hits a peak during the eleven-day event. With couples getting picked up all over Park City at these soirees there are now many films that are now picked up by studios and distribution companies.

The 2004 Festival has just ended its run, but many deals and relationships were made this year at Sundance. With such an exciting crowd of new films to come along it is no wonder that studios are making meetings happen and closing the deals in this lively ski town.
Still From Garden State

The most interesting contract signed was a first time joint venture with Miramax and Fox Searchlight for Scrubs star Zach Braffs Garden State. It is reportedly a multi million dollar deal involving an unprecedented dual acquisition for worldwide rights, with both Miramax and Fox sharing worldwide revenues. As of this time it is unclear as to which company will handle the territories. With a solid script and strong supporting cast of Natalie Portman, Jean Smart, Peter Sarsgaad, Ian Holm and Zach Braff, who is also the writer/director. It was executive produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.

Lions Gate is pleased with the ocean thriller Open Water and acquired worldwide rights. Based on a true story, and written and directed by Chris Kentis, it tells the story of a young, married scuba diving couple who are accidentally left to survive in shark infested waters. Lions Gate is looking at a summer release for this chilling thriller. It looks like well have many people sitting on the shoreline this year, as it was when Jaws was first released.

Sony Classics is venturing on the follow-up to Stacey Peraltas Dogtown & Z Boys, which was a"Sundance Audience Award" winner two years ago. Peraltas new film which was the first documentary to ever open up at Sundance is Riding Giants, a tribute to the big wave riders and the historical event that leads us to the larger than life surfers who dare to tear down 50 foot walls of water. The film was written by Sam George, editor of Surfer Magazine, and Stacey Peralta, the first skateboarder to have a lucrative sponsorship during the sports heydey of the 1970s. Editor Paul Crowder does a beautiful job and you can expect this to be another summer crowd pleaser.

The Motorcycle Diaries, shot in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Cuba tells the tale of two friends who have a quest to travel across South America to a leper colony on a 500 Norton Motorcycle. The film, based on a true journey taken by Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado, is set in 1952 as they venture to find themselves and see the country. This film was picked up the first weekend by Focus Features and had Robert Redford on board, as its executive producer.
Still from The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon

Warner Independent was hot on the tracks for $2 Million on the film We Dont Live Here Anymore. IFC Films signed up the rights to the documentry CSA: The Confederate States of America. Others signed in acquisitions are Touch of Pink for Sony Picture Classics, as well as Super Size Me, The Woodsman, and November.

So with so many hookups for films lets wish all the others best wishes on their developments of relationships and well plan on seeing you at the next soiree at the Sundance Film Festival. For more information log on to their website at

Keiko Beatie is the Director of Programming Development/Special Projects for the Newport Beach Film Festival. For more information, visit

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