Studios snap up Sundance favorites, boosting indie film market


Parent company Weinstein Co acquired distribution rights for drama film "Fruitvale", starring Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan. The film is based on the true story of Oakland native Oscar Grant's last day before he was shot and killed by police on New Year's Eve.

Directed by first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler, 26, the film was the big winner at Saturday's Sundance Film Festival awards, landing both the grand jury and audience prizes in the U.S. drama category.

"I was completely amazed by this incredible film. This earth-shattering story is one that needs to be told," Weinstein said in a statement.


A big theme running through the Sundance offerings this year is the frank depiction of intimate relationships and sexuality.

"The festival was choreographed in a way that I've had a cumulatively profound experience here, watching films from 'Don Jon's Addiction' to 'Before Midnight'.

These are films that are exploring human interaction on a very concrete level," Quinn said.

"Don Jon's Addiction", the directorial debut from actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a raunchy comedy of a young man struggling to overcome his porn addiction to form a real relationship.

The film was picked up by Relativity Media for $4 million for U.S. distribution rights, according to sources. Relativity purchased the 2010 hit Sundance documentary "Catfish", which has spawned a successful MTV television series.

Also popular among buyers was "Kill Your Darlings", a drama starring Daniel Radcliffe about the origins of the Beat Generation poets and the sexual coming-of-age of Allen Ginsberg, tied in with a scandalous murder.

Sony Pictures Classics partner Tom Bernard said the film was "surprising," and not just another Beat generation movie.

"It's a true story, the actors are great, I think the story looks a little more timeless than a period piece," Bernard told Reuters.

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