SXSW: Sundance Selects Acquires ‘Weekend’
2:39 PM PDT 3/17/2011 by Jay A. Fernandez
The indie label purchases North American theatrical and VOD rights to Andrew Haigh’s dramedy, which won the audience award for Emerging Visions.
Sundance Selects has purchased North American theatrical and VOD rights to Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, which won the audience award for Emerging Visions at the SXSW Film Festival awards ceremony Tuesday.The indie label also picked up broadcast and digital rights in France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, East-Central Europe, Turkey and Greece. Tom Cullen and Chris New star in the story of a two men who meet at a gay bar on a Friday night and spend the next two days getting to know each other with drink, drugs, stories and sex. Tristan Goligher produced. The film had its world premiere Friday at the Alamo Lamar. "Over the years, we've discovered great new talents at SXSW like Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins and the Safdies," said Sundance Selects president Jonathan Sehring. "This year was no exception. We were completely moved by Andrew Haigh's Weekend, a universal story about the perils and joys of falling in love. It was one of the most exciting films we saw at this year's festival." Orly Ravid of The Film Collaborative negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers along with Sundance Selects execs Arianna Bocco and Jeff Deutchman. Sundance Selects, a sister division of IFC Films, also had Errol Morris’ Tabloid, Werner Herzog’s 3D doc Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Cindy Meehl's Buck in the SXSW program. The acquisition is the latest in a series of buys during the Austin-based fest. Late Tuesday, Anchor Bay closed a deal to get U.S. rights to The Divide for seven figures. Monday was a busy day for buyers. Kino Lorber acquired U.S. rights to the doc El Bulli: Cooking in Progress from director Gereon Wetzel for its new theatrical label Alive Mind Cinema Monday morning. The Weinstein Co. acquired rights to Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s documentary Undefeated. In a unique deal, AT&T and Abramorama partnered Monday on a deal to bring Rodman Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop to theaters and U-verse® TV subscribers. And IFC Midnight bought North American rights to Ben Wheatley’s SXFantastic horror entry Kill List. Just before the festival started, HBO Documentary Films grabbed U.S. TV rights to A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt, and National Geographic Entertainment picked up North American rights to the documentary Benda Bilili!.