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Sundance 2013: AMC/Sundance Channel Global Strikes Deals With Pay TV Platforms Worldwide

The company also picks up five films at the festival to premiere internationally in conjunction with the second annual Sundance London Film & Music Festival.

AMC/Sundance Channel Global, the international division of AMC Networks, has struck several new distribution pacts for its international TV networks and VOD services with pay TV platforms worldwide at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

In addition, the company has picked up five films at the festival. Sundance Channel will air the films throughout Europe and Asia in conjunction with the second annual Sundance London Film & Music Festival in late April. “The mission of the festival and the channel is to highlight diverse voices and give artists the opportunity to share new and compelling stories," Sundance Channel founder Robert Redford said. "I’m excited that the strong growth of Sundance Channel is helping independent filmmakers share these stories with even bigger audiences worldwide. Emerging talent will continue to flourish in the mountains of Utah and far beyond."

AMC/Sundance Channel Global president Bruce Tuchman announced that the company has concluded distribution agreements with key pay TV platforms in Poland, Hungary, Spain, the Philippines and Thailand. In Poland, Sundance Channel has launched on Multimedia Polska, one of the country’s leading cable providers as a 24/7 channel in high definition and standard definition.

In Hungary, the Sundance Channel is launching as a subtitled 24/7 SD linear channel on Magyar Telecom via cable and IPTV services. The channel is also available locally on UPC. In Spain, the channel will launch in the coming weeks as a 24/7 SD linear service in dubbed format on cable operator R. The network is also available locally via Movistar Imagenio and Euskaltel.

AMC/Sundance Channel Global has recently secured distribution for both of its Asian brands, Sundance Channel and WE tv, on pay TV platforms throughout the region. Sundance Channel was recently made available for the first time to audiences as a 24/7 SD/HD linear offering on Sky Philippines, the country’s leading cable provider. WE tv has launched in Thailand for the first time on the new IPTV platform MeTV as a 24/7 linear SD/HD channel. This complements the launch of Sundance Channel last year on TrueVisions in Thailand.

These recent developments follow numerous other distribution deals secured across Europe and Asia over the past few months, including additional carriage in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Korea and Taiwan.

“These exciting, new distribution agreements and acquisitions fresh from the festival will fuel the growth of Sundance Channel and WE tv’s linear and on demand services across the globe,” Tuchman said. "We’re looking forward to continuing this momentum by expanding across regions and further supporting the authenticated multi-platform distribution initiatives of our subscription television partners."

The five festival titles acquired are:

Computer Chess (U.S.A.). Directed and written by Andrew Bujalski, the existential comedy revolves around the brilliant men who taught machines to play chess back when the machines seemed clumsy and humans seemed smart. Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary and Wiley Wiggins star.

Halley (Mexico). Directed by Sebastian Hofmann, the film centers on Alberto, who is dead and can no longer hide it. Before surrendering to his living death, he forms an unusual friendship with Luly, the manager of the 24-hour gym where he works as a night guard. Alberto Trujillo, Lourdes Trueba and Hugo Albores topline Halley, which was written by  Hofmann and Julio Chavezmontes.

I Used to Be Darker (U.S.A.). Directed by Matthew Porterfield, the film centers on a runaway seeks who refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore, only to find their marriage ending and her cousin in crisis. In the days that follow, the family struggles to let go while searching for things to sustain them. North American sales for the film, which was penned by Amy Belk and Porterfield, are being handled by Paradigm and George Rush. Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, Geoff Grace and Nick Petr star.

It Felt Like Love (U.S.A.). Directed and written by Eliza Hittman, the film is set on the outskirts of Brooklyn, where a 14- year-old girl’s sexual quest takes a dangerous turn after she pursues an older guy and tests the boundaries between obsession and love. Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nick Rosen and Case Prime topline.

This is Martin Bonner (U.S.A.). Chad Hartigan wrote and helmed the film about the titular character, who has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the problems he left behind. The deal was negotiated by ICM Partners and Traction Media. Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette, Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet and Demetrius Grosse star.

The deals were negotiated by Gail Gendler, senior director of acquisitions at AMC/Sundance Channel Global.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.comDaniel.Miller@THR.com; Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27, @DanielNMiller