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On paper, the titles available for purchase at TIFF this year appear to include fewer potential awards season vehicles (like last year's I, Tonya). Even sellers acknowledge that most top-shelf product already has sold.
"More and more of our films are getting set up with distributors at earlier stages as these distributors focus on in-house production," says ICM Partners' Jessica Lacy.
The acquisitions market may be further dampened by the loss of past buyers, including Global Road, The Weinstein Co. and Broad Green. "The market feels a bit anemic to me," says Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios acquisitions chief Chris Charalambous.
Still, new players may yet emerge, including one led by Tom Ortenberg, whose Briarcliff Entertainment is releasing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 and is said to have raised a fund to buy more hot-button fare. Insiders expect at least these 14 films — two of which are at the package stage — to move quickly.
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Melvin Van Peebles