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It looks like the checkbooks are coming out in Austin.
Typically a low-key market environment that consists mostly of genre buys, the SXSW Film Festival continues to expand slowly as a place for indie distributors and VOD outlets to grab new voices and films. As of Sunday afternoon, the SXFantastic horror film Kill List was drawing attention from multiple potential buyers, as was the competition documentary Kumare, from director Vikram Gandhi.
U.K.-based sales outfit Protagonist Pictures, which sold Gareth Edwards’ SXSW premiere Monsters to Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing last year, is repping the sale of Kill List. The company also recently sold the Sundance drama Tyrannosaur to Strand Releasing. Cinetic Media, which just sold the Sundance and SXSW late-nighter The Catechism Cataclysm to IFC Midnight, is repping Kumare.
Ben Wheatley’s Kill List had its raucous premiere Saturday at midnight at the Alamo Lamar, and it has a similar slot Sunday night. Gandhi’s film had its premiere earlier today at the Vimeo Theater; it screens next Monday night at the Alamo Lamar.
Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien showed up for the world premiere of Rodman Flender’s Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop at the Paramount early Saturday afternoon. The documentary is a look at the darker personal side of O’Brien as he tries to absorb the trauma of his loss of The Tonight Show on a national comedy tour last year.
As a continuing part of his public therapy, O’Brien gave an interview at the IFC Crossroads house Saturday in which he discussed how he finally grasped the uses of social networking and Twitter during the turmoil with NBC. It was only then that he recognized not just the groundswell of support for him and his comedy, but also the ability to vet the tour idea first by floating it out into the world with a single tweet.
At the post-screening Q&A after the Flender doc played to an appreciative crowd, O’Brien admitted his nervousness about allowing everyone this window on his life. But in our obsessively exhibitionistic world, surely O’Brien understands that opening up this access only deepens his fans’ connection to him and willingness to show up on his behalf.
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