Sundance: Every Movie Sold So Far – And It Ain’t Much

Content quality might be especially high for diverse filmmakers at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but wallets have been frozen shut when it comes to dealmaking.

Indie distributors have barely moved on several buzzy titles up for acquisition, though TheWrap has exclusively reported on a few big deals and two hot bidding wars.

“No one has festival fever this year,” one senior acquisitions executive at a studio label told TheWrap, referring to the competitive rush to buy that sometimes happens after a high-energy movie premieres in Park City.

Also Read: Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

It was a painful four days waiting for someone to break the metaphorical market ice. That was Bleecker Street and 30West, who spent $4 million on Keira Knightley’s feminist poet tale “Colette.” Trickling in after was a $5 million worldwide package for the inventive John Cho drama “Search,” which takes place entirely on laptop screens and FaceTime video.

There are two ongoing competitive bidding situations — Chloe Sevigny’s Lizzie Borden telling “Lizzie” and the captivating racial drama “Blindspotting.”

TheWrap can’t say we didn’t warn you. We previously reported on a variety of factors that would slow the buying pace at this year’s Sundance market, including: turbulent deal structures with spend-happy streaming services, an increased call to vet the character of filmmakers and consolidation, like Disney’s acquisition of the Fox film studio.

Our full tally of Sundance sales excludes international rights and pre-sold titles, of which there are many, like Netflix’s “Come Sunday” and “A Futile and Stupid Gesture.”

Here’s what’s shaking so far in Park City:

Titles Sold 

“Colette”
The period drama starring Keira Knightley and Dominic West was the first major acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival, selling to Bleecker Street and 30West in a seven-figure deal on Sunday. It premiered in the Premieres section on Saturday.

The film follows Knightley’s Colette as she writes her loosely autobiographical Claudine novels, which become huge best-sellers in Paris, but begins increasingly frustrated since her domineering husband (West) takes authorial credit. Eventually she sets out on her own transgressive adventures without her husband.

“Search”
Then, the John Cho/Debra Messing tech thriller sold its worldwide rights to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions for a whopping $5 million. This marked the third big acquisition for SPWA at the festival — it has also acquired the international rights to Nick Offerman’s “Hearts Beat Loud” and Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace.”

“Monsters and Men”
Fledgling indie distributor Neon took the police brutality drama from feature-debut director Reinaldo Marcus Green, which even they touted as one of the “first major acquisitions” of the festival.

Monsters” tells of a young guy who uses his phone to record the killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of police officers. Endeavor Content made the deal.

“Pick of the Litter”
While this title technically played at fringe festival Slamdance, the tale of a litter of puppies who grow up to become seeing eye dogs captivated the folks at IFC Films, who bought it for their Sundance Selects label.

Bidding Wars

“Blindspotting”
TheWrap exclusively reported this acclaimed title was being courted by three distributors — Neon, CBS Films and The Orchard. And MoviePass, the moviegoing subscription service that announced plans to acquire films at the festival, is also seeking a co-release with whoever ends up buying the film. At the time of publication, “Blindspotting” has not been sold.

“Lizzie”
The Lizzie Borden murder film starring Chloe Sevigny is still up for grabs, and for good reason: following its Eccles Theater premiere, the film delivered on its promise of blood, sex and graphic violence. Three distributors — Roadside Attractions with Saban Films, IFC and Magnolia Pictures – are currently chasing the film, TheWrap also reported exclusively.

“Sorry to Bother You”
Boots Riley’s film that boasts a glitzy cast in Armie Hammer, Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun and Lakeith Stanfield is still on the market. Insiders told TheWrap that some distributors were waiting for both this film and “Blindspotting” to screen given that they have similar themes. “Blindspotting” got more action at first, but “Sorry to Bother You” has gotten solid feedback.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance Scene: Musical Performances from Idris Elba, Post Malone and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Photos)

Keira Knightley, Jim Parsons and More Sundance Portraits From TheWrap at the Acura Studios (Photos)

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

Puppy Movie ‘Pick of the Litter’ Sells to IFC’s Sundance Selects

Content quality might be especially high for diverse filmmakers at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but wallets have been frozen shut when it comes to dealmaking.

Indie distributors have barely moved on several buzzy titles up for acquisition, though TheWrap has exclusively reported on a few big deals and two hot bidding wars.

“No one has festival fever this year,” one senior acquisitions executive at a studio label told TheWrap, referring to the competitive rush to buy that sometimes happens after a high-energy movie premieres in Park City.

It was a painful four days waiting for someone to break the metaphorical market ice. That was Bleecker Street and 30West, who spent $4 million on Keira Knightley’s feminist poet tale “Colette.” Trickling in after was a $5 million worldwide package for the inventive John Cho drama “Search,” which takes place entirely on laptop screens and FaceTime video.

There are two ongoing competitive bidding situations — Chloe Sevigny’s Lizzie Borden telling “Lizzie” and the captivating racial drama “Blindspotting.”

TheWrap can’t say we didn’t warn you. We previously reported on a variety of factors that would slow the buying pace at this year’s Sundance market, including: turbulent deal structures with spend-happy streaming services, an increased call to vet the character of filmmakers and consolidation, like Disney’s acquisition of the Fox film studio.

Our full tally of Sundance sales excludes international rights and pre-sold titles, of which there are many, like Netflix’s “Come Sunday” and “A Futile and Stupid Gesture.”

Here’s what’s shaking so far in Park City:

Titles Sold 

“Colette”
The period drama starring Keira Knightley and Dominic West was the first major acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival, selling to Bleecker Street and 30West in a seven-figure deal on Sunday. It premiered in the Premieres section on Saturday.

The film follows Knightley’s Colette as she writes her loosely autobiographical Claudine novels, which become huge best-sellers in Paris, but begins increasingly frustrated since her domineering husband (West) takes authorial credit. Eventually she sets out on her own transgressive adventures without her husband.

“Search”
Then, the John Cho/Debra Messing tech thriller sold its worldwide rights to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions for a whopping $5 million. This marked the third big acquisition for SPWA at the festival — it has also acquired the international rights to Nick Offerman’s “Hearts Beat Loud” and Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace.”

“Monsters and Men”
Fledgling indie distributor Neon took the police brutality drama from feature-debut director Reinaldo Marcus Green, which even they touted as one of the “first major acquisitions” of the festival.

Monsters” tells of a young guy who uses his phone to record the killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of police officers. Endeavor Content made the deal.

“Pick of the Litter”
While this title technically played at fringe festival Slamdance, the tale of a litter of puppies who grow up to become seeing eye dogs captivated the folks at IFC Films, who bought it for their Sundance Selects label.

Bidding Wars

“Blindspotting”
TheWrap exclusively reported this acclaimed title was being courted by three distributors — Neon, CBS Films and The Orchard. And MoviePass, the moviegoing subscription service that announced plans to acquire films at the festival, is also seeking a co-release with whoever ends up buying the film. At the time of publication, “Blindspotting” has not been sold.

“Lizzie”
The Lizzie Borden murder film starring Chloe Sevigny is still up for grabs, and for good reason: following its Eccles Theater premiere, the film delivered on its promise of blood, sex and graphic violence. Three distributors — Roadside Attractions with Saban Films, IFC and Magnolia Pictures – are currently chasing the film, TheWrap also reported exclusively.

“Sorry to Bother You”
Boots Riley’s film that boasts a glitzy cast in Armie Hammer, Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun and Lakeith Stanfield is still on the market. Insiders told TheWrap that some distributors were waiting for both this film and “Blindspotting” to screen given that they have similar themes. “Blindspotting” got more action at first, but “Sorry to Bother You” has gotten solid feedback.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance Scene: Musical Performances from Idris Elba, Post Malone and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Photos)

Keira Knightley, Jim Parsons and More Sundance Portraits From TheWrap at the Acura Studios (Photos)

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

Puppy Movie 'Pick of the Litter' Sells to IFC's Sundance Selects

Kristen Stewart, Chloe Sevigny Drama ‘Lizzie’ Chased by IFC, Magnolia, Roadside

Three distributors – Roadside Attractions with Saban Films, IFC and Magnolia Pictures – are chasing the ax-murderer period drama “Lizzie,” an individual with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap.

Four offers have been submitted, the fourth distributor bidding on the film was not identified.

“Lizzie” stars Chloe Sevigny as Lizzie Borden, who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother. The film also stars Kristen Stewart, who plays a servant hired by Borden’s family, and there is an intense lust and desire between the two that culminates in the, graphic and extremely violent, infamous murders. Denis O’Hare also stars in the film, which Craig Macneill directed.

Also Read: ‘Blindspotting’ Bidding War: Neon, The Orchard, CBS Films Chase Racial Drama

The Sundance market has been slow so far — it’s day five of the festival, yet only a few buzzy titles, like “Colette” and “Search,” have sold.

On Sunday, TheWrap reported that several bidders were interested in “Blindspotting,” yet no formal sale has been made as of yet. Neon, The Orchard and CBS Films were aggressively pursuing the film, with MoviePass, the moviegoing subscription service that announced plans to acquire films at the festival, seeking a co-release with whoever ends up buying the film.

Also Read: Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

An insider had told TheWrap that negotiations were slow because the sales agents wanted to take their time hearing out the marketing and distribution plans of each player.

TheWrap has reached out to IFC, Magnolia, Saban, Roadside, WME and the film’s publicist. None immediately responded.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

Puppy Movie ‘Pick of the Litter’ Sells to IFC’s Sundance Selects

Sundance 2018: A Music Fan’s Guide to Concerts, Appearances in Park City

Three distributors – Roadside Attractions with Saban Films, IFC and Magnolia Pictures – are chasing the ax-murderer period drama “Lizzie,” an individual with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap.

Four offers have been submitted, the fourth distributor bidding on the film was not identified.

“Lizzie” stars Chloe Sevigny as Lizzie Borden, who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother. The film also stars Kristen Stewart, who plays a servant hired by Borden’s family, and there is an intense lust and desire between the two that culminates in the, graphic and extremely violent, infamous murders. Denis O’Hare also stars in the film, which Craig Macneill directed.

The Sundance market has been slow so far — it’s day five of the festival, yet only a few buzzy titles, like “Colette” and “Search,” have sold.

On Sunday, TheWrap reported that several bidders were interested in “Blindspotting,” yet no formal sale has been made as of yet. Neon, The Orchard and CBS Films were aggressively pursuing the film, with MoviePass, the moviegoing subscription service that announced plans to acquire films at the festival, seeking a co-release with whoever ends up buying the film.

An insider had told TheWrap that negotiations were slow because the sales agents wanted to take their time hearing out the marketing and distribution plans of each player.

TheWrap has reached out to IFC, Magnolia, Saban, Roadside, WME and the film’s publicist. None immediately responded.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

Puppy Movie 'Pick of the Litter' Sells to IFC's Sundance Selects

Sundance 2018: A Music Fan's Guide to Concerts, Appearances in Park City

Sundance So Far: Festival Gets Woke With Strong Set of Diverse Films

A rich crop of satisfying movies featuring themes of race and gender have stood out at 2018’s Sundance Film Festival so far, displaying a newfound confidence on issues that have divided the country.

From the funny-not-funny Oakland, Calif., drama “Blindspotting” to the micro-aggression symphony “Tyrel” to the satire “Sorry to Bother You” to Idris Elba’s tale of Jamaican immigrants in England in the early 1970s, “Yardie,” the films span a range of tone and undertone.

What they share is the strength of the voices and performances. Sundance always features diverse voices, but the quality has never been higher. In the years since #OscarsSoWhite, it seems that talent and stories about underrerpresented communities have found their way to Park City in significant numbers — and rather than feeling as if the festival is taking work to satisfy a quota, this year’s films simply seem to be an integral part of the festival’s longstanding commitment to showcasing new voices.

Also Read: ‘Tyrel’: Race, Class and Bad Manners Collide in Showcase for Jason Mitchell

“Blindspotting” was a script nine years in the making from stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. It explores two best friends trying to define themselves in the social, political and racial pressure cooker of Oakland. It’s an unflinching look at what happens when those who are other cannot divorce the political from the personal.

These diverse voices are not limited to trauma. In Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You,” LaKeith Stanfield plays a telemarketer who unlocks the keys to success when he puts on his “white voice” with customers. Sales skyrocket, which creates tension with his activist girlfriend (Tessa Thompson) as he becomes the object of insane boss Armie Hammer’s approval.

Meanwhile, women’s films are also taking center stage at the festival in the year of #MeToo and #TimesUp.  A full 43 female directors have joined the lineup across sections in the feature-film categories. If you include short films in the count, 42 percent of Sundance directors are female this year, a festival spokesperson told TheWrap.

Also Read: ‘Blindspotting’ Film Review: Ambitious Oakland Tale Suffers from Too Many Ideas

Among them are Cathy Yan’s notable “Dead Pigs,” a mosaic of stories set against a 2013 phenomenon when 16,000 dead pigs surfaced in Shanghai’s Huangpu River In the film, Yanexplores the isolation she felt growing up in both China and the U.S.

Elizabeth Chomko’s writer-director debut “What They Had” explores Alzheimer’s with the help of Blythe Danner and Hilary Swank. Sara Colangelo also made waves as a writer-director with “The Kindergarten Teacher,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, about a woman teetering between her conventional life and her passion for art.

Other films directed by men often as not put women front and center. Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” with a towering performance by Kiera Knightley as the feminist icon, was one of two set in the 1890s, a time of tumultuous cultural, economic and political change. (The film sold to Bleecker Street and 30West in one if the few deals in the festival so far; more on that in a moment.)

The other was “Lizzie,” about hatchet-wielding Lizzie Borden (Chloe Sevigny), who did her nefarious deed in 1892. Both manage to set the stage for modern womanhood and the complicated world of contemporary feminism.

Also Read: ‘Lizzie’ Film Review: Chloë Sevigny Makes the Infamous Killer a Rebel With a Cause

In Paul Dano’s directorial debut, the austere Richard Ford adaptation “Wildlife,” Carey Mulligan is raw and riveting as a Montana housewife chafing against the restrictions placed on women in the early 1960s. In Jesse Peretz’s “Juliet, Naked,” Rose Byrne is utterly charming and affecting as her character tries to find independence (while sort-of romancing a reclusive American rock star) in a small British town.

The Sundance documentary slate is once again a strong point, with “The Price of Everything,” “The Sentence,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “Believer,” “Robin Williams: Inside My Mind” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” among the many docs that have drawn praise.

And many of the most high-profile docs at the festival are about women, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (“RBG”), artist Yayoi Kusama (“Kusama – Infinity”), activist Nadia Murad (“On Her Shoulders”), attorney Gloria Allred (“Seeing Allred”), singer M.I.A. (“Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.”), punk/fashion grand dame Vivien Westwood (“Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist”), rocker Joan Jett (“Bad Reputation”) and actress Jane Fonda (“Jane Fonda in Five Acts”).

Also Read: Jane Fonda, Tessa Thompson Fire Up Women’s Respect Rally in Sundance

Perhaps none of the films hit the level of unanimous raves prompted by recent-year Sundance hits like “Call Me by Your Name,” “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” but quality seems to have reached a high.

Still, sales have initially proved chilly. As TheWrap predicted walking into Sundance, buyers are more cautious than ever thanks to multiple factors. Indie institutions like Fox Searchlight (recently acquired by Disney) and Focus Features are facing tough competition from the deep-pockets of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, though deal-makers have begun to resist the worldwide exclusivity the streamers demand for their subscribers.

Discounting pre-sold titles (mostly docs), the biggest deal to close so far has been for “Colette,” which sold for seven figures on Sunday to Bleecker Street and 30West. But that sale was followed by the bidding war for “Blindspotting,” as buyers may begin to open their wallets as the opening weekend closes.

But money remains tight. Producers are better fed from the money they raise on international sales, one top dealmaker told TheWrap in Park City, but increasingly cannot convince the streaming giants to accept only North American rights. In addition, many in the marketare wary after the #MeToo movement has claimed several casualties in the indie market, with deals unraveling for Louis C.K.’s “I Love You, Daddy” and Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken” after their filmmakers faced misconduct accusations.

Also Read: Idris Elba Insists He Wasn’t Thinking About Modern Race Issues With ’70s-Set ‘Yardie’ (Video)

The market would be wise to wake up to the caliber of films in Park City this year. They reveal a conscious nurturing of diverse voices, which can only serve our industry and audiences as they are heard, financed, produced and distributed.

In the words of Jane Fonda, addressing a Park City crowd at this year’s Respect Rally, thrown by the organizers of last year’s Women’s March: “This kind of change doesn’t just come about through protest. It comes through organizing.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance Scene and Heard: Black Eyed Peas, Issa Rae, Joaquin Phoenix and More (Photos)

Jane Fonda, Tessa Thompson Fire Up Women’s Respect Rally in Sundance

MoviePass to Co-Acquire Movies With Distributors, Starting at Sundance

A rich crop of satisfying movies featuring themes of race and gender have stood out at 2018’s Sundance Film Festival so far, displaying a newfound confidence on issues that have divided the country.

From the funny-not-funny Oakland, Calif., drama “Blindspotting” to the micro-aggression symphony “Tyrel” to the satire “Sorry to Bother You” to Idris Elba’s tale of Jamaican immigrants in England in the early 1970s, “Yardie,” the films span a range of tone and undertone.

What they share is the strength of the voices and performances. Sundance always features diverse voices, but the quality has never been higher. In the years since #OscarsSoWhite, it seems that talent and stories about underrerpresented communities have found their way to Park City in significant numbers — and rather than feeling as if the festival is taking work to satisfy a quota, this year’s films simply seem to be an integral part of the festival’s longstanding commitment to showcasing new voices.

“Blindspotting” was a script nine years in the making from stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. It explores two best friends trying to define themselves in the social, political and racial pressure cooker of Oakland. It’s an unflinching look at what happens when those who are other cannot divorce the political from the personal.

These diverse voices are not limited to trauma. In Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You,” LaKeith Stanfield plays a telemarketer who unlocks the keys to success when he puts on his “white voice” with customers. Sales skyrocket, which creates tension with his activist girlfriend (Tessa Thompson) as he becomes the object of insane boss Armie Hammer’s approval.

Meanwhile, women’s films are also taking center stage at the festival in the year of #MeToo and #TimesUp.  A full 43 female directors have joined the lineup across sections in the feature-film categories. If you include short films in the count, 42 percent of Sundance directors are female this year, a festival spokesperson told TheWrap.

Among them are Cathy Yan’s notable “Dead Pigs,” a mosaic of stories set against a 2013 phenomenon when 16,000 dead pigs surfaced in Shanghai’s Huangpu River In the film, Yanexplores the isolation she felt growing up in both China and the U.S.

Elizabeth Chomko’s writer-director debut “What They Had” explores Alzheimer’s with the help of Blythe Danner and Hilary Swank. Sara Colangelo also made waves as a writer-director with “The Kindergarten Teacher,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, about a woman teetering between her conventional life and her passion for art.

Other films directed by men often as not put women front and center. Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” with a towering performance by Kiera Knightley as the feminist icon, was one of two set in the 1890s, a time of tumultuous cultural, economic and political change. (The film sold to Bleecker Street and 30West in one if the few deals in the festival so far; more on that in a moment.)

The other was “Lizzie,” about hatchet-wielding Lizzie Borden (Chloe Sevigny), who did her nefarious deed in 1892. Both manage to set the stage for modern womanhood and the complicated world of contemporary feminism.

In Paul Dano’s directorial debut, the austere Richard Ford adaptation “Wildlife,” Carey Mulligan is raw and riveting as a Montana housewife chafing against the restrictions placed on women in the early 1960s. In Jesse Peretz’s “Juliet, Naked,” Rose Byrne is utterly charming and affecting as her character tries to find independence (while sort-of romancing a reclusive American rock star) in a small British town.

The Sundance documentary slate is once again a strong point, with “The Price of Everything,” “The Sentence,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “Believer,” “Robin Williams: Inside My Mind” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” among the many docs that have drawn praise.

And many of the most high-profile docs at the festival are about women, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (“RBG”), artist Yayoi Kusama (“Kusama – Infinity”), activist Nadia Murad (“On Her Shoulders”), attorney Gloria Allred (“Seeing Allred”), singer M.I.A. (“Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.”), punk/fashion grand dame Vivien Westwood (“Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist”), rocker Joan Jett (“Bad Reputation”) and actress Jane Fonda (“Jane Fonda in Five Acts”).

Perhaps none of the films hit the level of unanimous raves prompted by recent-year Sundance hits like “Call Me by Your Name,” “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” but quality seems to have reached a high.

Still, sales have initially proved chilly. As TheWrap predicted walking into Sundance, buyers are more cautious than ever thanks to multiple factors. Indie institutions like Fox Searchlight (recently acquired by Disney) and Focus Features are facing tough competition from the deep-pockets of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, though deal-makers have begun to resist the worldwide exclusivity the streamers demand for their subscribers.

Discounting pre-sold titles (mostly docs), the biggest deal to close so far has been for “Colette,” which sold for seven figures on Sunday to Bleecker Street and 30West. But that sale was followed by the bidding war for “Blindspotting,” as buyers may begin to open their wallets as the opening weekend closes.

But money remains tight. Producers are better fed from the money they raise on international sales, one top dealmaker told TheWrap in Park City, but increasingly cannot convince the streaming giants to accept only North American rights. In addition, many in the marketare wary after the #MeToo movement has claimed several casualties in the indie market, with deals unraveling for Louis C.K.’s “I Love You, Daddy” and Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken” after their filmmakers faced misconduct accusations.

The market would be wise to wake up to the caliber of films in Park City this year. They reveal a conscious nurturing of diverse voices, which can only serve our industry and audiences as they are heard, financed, produced and distributed.

In the words of Jane Fonda, addressing a Park City crowd at this year’s Respect Rally, thrown by the organizers of last year’s Women’s March: “This kind of change doesn’t just come about through protest. It comes through organizing.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance Scene and Heard: Black Eyed Peas, Issa Rae, Joaquin Phoenix and More (Photos)

Jane Fonda, Tessa Thompson Fire Up Women's Respect Rally in Sundance

MoviePass to Co-Acquire Movies With Distributors, Starting at Sundance

Sundance After #MeToo: Indie Buyers and Sellers Step Up Vetting of Filmmakers, Stars

Hollywood has been enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for creatives and executives accused of sexual misconduct, the effects of which may impact hopeful artists and agents headed to this week’s Sundance Film Festival.

As the industry confronts horrible accounts of assault and harassment, the shunning of the accused has resulted in collateral damage for the content they produce. The landscape is so tense that many distributors plan to vet filmmakers and stars before they agree to buy their movies, numerous insiders told TheWrap.

“Everyone is being careful about who they are in business with, how it reflects on their business, and who is going to be distributing their movie on every level,” one top agent with multiple projects for sale at Sundance this year told TheWrap. This individual added that all parties will be “using every precaution to protect their downside.”

Also Read: Sundance 2018 Lineup: Lizzie Borden, Oscar Wilde, Jane Fonda and a lot of Lakeith Stanfield

“The vetting process will be better,” Keith Kjarval, producer of Michael Shannon’s new Sundance drama “What They Had,” told TheWrap. “The onus has to be on producers to the degree that they can vet and get creative afterwards on what they can do to remedy the problem.”

“I love what Ridley Scott did,” Kjarval added, referring to Scott’s replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the “All the Money in the World.”

None of the individuals TheWrap contacted would speak about specific steps that sales agents or buyers would be taking to safeguard against the risk of a #MeToo disclosure — like background checks, morality clauses or other contract language attached to deals. But every one of them said a new caution is widespread in the industry.

“What everyone will be looking at more closely is the price tags and assessing risk,” one major distribution executive told TheWrap. “There have been quite a few companies who haven gotten burned.”

Also Read: 13 Hottest Sundance Movies for Sale: From Ax Murderers to Notorious ‘RBG’ (Photos)

Losses from recent scandals have been considerable. In September, distributor The Orchard bought Louis C.K.’s comedy “I Love You, Daddy” for $5 million out of the Toronto International Film Festival. The purchase came even after Roseanne Barr publicly said she’d heard many stories of inappropriate behavior exhibited by C.K. with fellow female comics.

But after the New York Times reported that five women accused the star of sexual misconduct, and C.K. admitted to the accusations, C.K. announced he would his movie back from The Orchard. (The comedian was also dropped from an overall deal at cable network FX, a planned animated series from TBS and the voice cast of “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”)

C.K. is part of a very small sect of entertainers who can afford to write a $5 million check (one dealmaker was doubtful he received the entire fee up front, but likely got a significant amount. The Orchard and a lawyer for C.K. did not return requests for comment on the matter). It would be a loss any other art-house studio would have had to absorb with a lesser-known filmmaker.

Also Read: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi Heading to 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Deep-pocketed streaming giants can afford to take a financial hit, as Amazon Studios did with Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.” The Kate Winslet drama earned a paltry $1.3 million in limited release in December after the studio and the cast were criticized for working with the director, who has been accused of sexually abusing his daughter Dylan Farrow (charges that he has consistently denied).

Amazon even canceled the film’s red carpet premiere to avoid discussing the matter — one that played out against their own internal sexual harassment ordeal that resulted in the resignation of former studio president Roy Price.

Also last month, YouTube Red scrapped a $3.5 million deal for Morgan Spurlock’s sequel to his game-changing documentary “Super Size Me” after the director tweeted about an experience where he felt he had engaged in fully consensual sex and his partner hadn’t. He also admitted to paying a settlement to a woman who had accused him of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Spurlock deal was supposed to be a litmus test for the fledgling YouTube Red: The company provided six months of exclusivity to stream the film, then was set to split all revenue from other platform releases 50-50 with Spurlock. It was never clarified who was paid, or what monies might have been returned, in the pricey transaction.

Also Read: Golden Globes: Viewers Rip Red Carpet Hosts for Not Enough #MeToo and #TIMESUP Questions

The vetting of festival filmmakers was supposed to improve after the “The Birth of a Nation” fiasco two years ago. Fox Searchlight paid a massive $17.5 million for star-director-cowriter Nate Parker’s period drama — only to see box office get torpedoed after a rape charge from his college days, of which Parker was acquitted in court, resurfaced prior to the movie’s release and planned awards campaign.

But the fear of a new round of sexual misconduct accusations isn’t the only issue roiling the indie acquisition community as it heads to Park City for the festival. “There’s a ton of speculation about what is going on with all the buyers, and not just because of the harassment issue,” another top film broker said.

“We don’t have the Weinstein Company. There’s a whole question about Fox Searchlight now that it’s [soon to be] owned by Disney, and the changing of the guard at Amazon,” the individual said.

Still, Sundance veterans are quick to put this year’s challenges into perspective. “If you look closely at the history of Sundance, the same story always emerges,” the insider said. “There are a million challenges, but then you get that special movie.”

Beatrice Verhoeven contributed to this report. 

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Hollywood has been enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for creatives and executives accused of sexual misconduct, the effects of which may impact hopeful artists and agents headed to this week’s Sundance Film Festival.

As the industry confronts horrible accounts of assault and harassment, the shunning of the accused has resulted in collateral damage for the content they produce. The landscape is so tense that many distributors plan to vet filmmakers and stars before they agree to buy their movies, numerous insiders told TheWrap.

“Everyone is being careful about who they are in business with, how it reflects on their business, and who is going to be distributing their movie on every level,” one top agent with multiple projects for sale at Sundance this year told TheWrap. This individual added that all parties will be “using every precaution to protect their downside.”

“The vetting process will be better,” Keith Kjarval, producer of Michael Shannon’s new Sundance drama “What They Had,” told TheWrap. “The onus has to be on producers to the degree that they can vet and get creative afterwards on what they can do to remedy the problem.”

“I love what Ridley Scott did,” Kjarval added, referring to Scott’s replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the “All the Money in the World.”

None of the individuals TheWrap contacted would speak about specific steps that sales agents or buyers would be taking to safeguard against the risk of a #MeToo disclosure — like background checks, morality clauses or other contract language attached to deals. But every one of them said a new caution is widespread in the industry.

“What everyone will be looking at more closely is the price tags and assessing risk,” one major distribution executive told TheWrap. “There have been quite a few companies who haven gotten burned.”

Losses from recent scandals have been considerable. In September, distributor The Orchard bought Louis C.K.’s comedy “I Love You, Daddy” for $5 million out of the Toronto International Film Festival. The purchase came even after Roseanne Barr publicly said she’d heard many stories of inappropriate behavior exhibited by C.K. with fellow female comics.

But after the New York Times reported that five women accused the star of sexual misconduct, and C.K. admitted to the accusations, C.K. announced he would his movie back from The Orchard. (The comedian was also dropped from an overall deal at cable network FX, a planned animated series from TBS and the voice cast of “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”)

C.K. is part of a very small sect of entertainers who can afford to write a $5 million check (one dealmaker was doubtful he received the entire fee up front, but likely got a significant amount. The Orchard and a lawyer for C.K. did not return requests for comment on the matter). It would be a loss any other art-house studio would have had to absorb with a lesser-known filmmaker.

Deep-pocketed streaming giants can afford to take a financial hit, as Amazon Studios did with Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.” The Kate Winslet drama earned a paltry $1.3 million in limited release in December after the studio and the cast were criticized for working with the director, who has been accused of sexually abusing his daughter Dylan Farrow (charges that he has consistently denied).

Amazon even canceled the film’s red carpet premiere to avoid discussing the matter — one that played out against their own internal sexual harassment ordeal that resulted in the resignation of former studio president Roy Price.

Also last month, YouTube Red scrapped a $3.5 million deal for Morgan Spurlock’s sequel to his game-changing documentary “Super Size Me” after the director tweeted about an experience where he felt he had engaged in fully consensual sex and his partner hadn’t. He also admitted to paying a settlement to a woman who had accused him of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Spurlock deal was supposed to be a litmus test for the fledgling YouTube Red: The company provided six months of exclusivity to stream the film, then was set to split all revenue from other platform releases 50-50 with Spurlock. It was never clarified who was paid, or what monies might have been returned, in the pricey transaction.

The vetting of festival filmmakers was supposed to improve after the “The Birth of a Nation” fiasco two years ago. Fox Searchlight paid a massive $17.5 million for star-director-cowriter Nate Parker’s period drama — only to see box office get torpedoed after a rape charge from his college days, of which Parker was acquitted in court, resurfaced prior to the movie’s release and planned awards campaign.

But the fear of a new round of sexual misconduct accusations isn’t the only issue roiling the indie acquisition community as it heads to Park City for the festival. “There’s a ton of speculation about what is going on with all the buyers, and not just because of the harassment issue,” another top film broker said.

“We don’t have the Weinstein Company. There’s a whole question about Fox Searchlight now that it’s [soon to be] owned by Disney, and the changing of the guard at Amazon,” the individual said.

Still, Sundance veterans are quick to put this year’s challenges into perspective. “If you look closely at the history of Sundance, the same story always emerges,” the insider said. “There are a million challenges, but then you get that special movie.”

Beatrice Verhoeven contributed to this report. 

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13 Hottest Sundance Movies for Sale: From Ax Murderers to Notorious ‘RBG’ (Photos)

Park City, Utah, is about to be flush with cash — and we’re not talking about buying apres-ski gear. Here are the most promising sales titles of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

“Tyrel”

After his stunning performance in “Mudbound,” Jason Mitchell is back in this drama alongside Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Cera and Ann Dowd — the latter or whom has had a great year as well. Buyers should go crazy for the film about a guy who goes on a weekend birthday trip to a cabin — but he’s the only black guy on the retreat.

“Lizzie”

There’s much intrigue for the film “Lizzie,” which chronicles the life of Lizzie Borden, who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother. Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart and Denis O’Hare star.

“Burden”

Garrett Hedlund also gave a stellar performance in “Mudbound,” playing the son of a man associated with the Ku Klux Klan. In “Burden,” Hedlund is a repo man rising through the ranks of the KKK, but everything changes when he falls for a woman, portrayed by Andrea Riseborough. The additional cast of Forest Whitaker and Usher should entice buyers.

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a high school teenager who gets caught in the backseat of her car with another girl. She’s quickly shipped off for conversion therapy, where she for the first time finds her place among fellow outcasts. The strong themes of pain and loss while finding yourself and your identity should make it a hot title — after all, it’s based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed novel.

“Juliet, Naked”

Perhaps one of the most anticipated films on the Sundance schedule, “Juliet, Naked” is an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel. Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd star in this comedic drama about a woman who is in a transatlantic romance with a once-revered musician.

Park City, Utah, is about to be flush with cash — and we’re not talking about buying apres-ski gear. Here are the most promising sales titles of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

“Tyrel”

After his stunning performance in “Mudbound,” Jason Mitchell is back in this drama alongside Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Cera and Ann Dowd — the latter or whom has had a great year as well. Buyers should go crazy for the film about a guy who goes on a weekend birthday trip to a cabin — but he’s the only black guy on the retreat.

“Lizzie”

There’s much intrigue for the film “Lizzie,” which chronicles the life of Lizzie Borden, who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother. Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart and Denis O’Hare star.

“Burden”

Garrett Hedlund also gave a stellar performance in “Mudbound,” playing the son of a man associated with the Ku Klux Klan. In “Burden,” Hedlund is a repo man rising through the ranks of the KKK, but everything changes when he falls for a woman, portrayed by Andrea Riseborough. The additional cast of Forest Whitaker and Usher should entice buyers.

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a high school teenager who gets caught in the backseat of her car with another girl. She’s quickly shipped off for conversion therapy, where she for the first time finds her place among fellow outcasts. The strong themes of pain and loss while finding yourself and your identity should make it a hot title — after all, it’s based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed novel.

“Juliet, Naked”

Perhaps one of the most anticipated films on the Sundance schedule, “Juliet, Naked” is an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel. Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd star in this comedic drama about a woman who is in a transatlantic romance with a once-revered musician.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi Heading to 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Catherine Hardwicke and Taika Waititi are heading to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to discuss their work and the power of media, it was announced Thursday.

DuVernay, Patrick Gaspard, Rae, Megan Smith and Christine Vachon will speak on a panel titled “Power of Story: Culture Shift” to talk about their work as well as the role of creative choices in our ever-shifting culture. The conversation will be led by Washington Post journalist Sarah Ellison on Jan. 19.

Hardwicke, Waititi and Justin Lin will talk about the advantages and challenges of moving from independent filmmaking to big-budget studio films with moderator John Horn on Jan. 26, on a panel titled “Power of Story: Indies Go Hollywood.”

Also Read: Sundance 2018 Lineup: Lizzie Borden, Oscar Wilde, Jane Fonda and a lot of Lakeith Stanfield

Other noteworthy conversations at the festival include talks between will.i.am and Kevin Smith; Danny Elfman and Gus Van Sant; Justice Ginsberg and Nina Totenberg; Ira Glass and Miranda July; and Ethan Hawke and Rupert Everett.

Octavia Spencer, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Darren Aronofsky and Steven Soderbergh will also take part in conversations at the festival.

A Celebration of Music and Film will present an evening with Joan Jett who will take the stage with The Blackhearts on Jan. 20, in celebration of the premiere of the documentary “Bad Reputation.” Other live music at the festival will include performances by Michael Franti, Brett Dennen, Mr. Hudson, Ruelle, Ethan Gruska and Striking Matches.

Also Read: Sundance: Wes Anderson VR, Joaquin Phoenix Indie, RuPaul Retrospect Join Lineup

The Sundance Film Festival will take place from Jan. 18-28 in Park City, Utah.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Catherine Hardwicke and Taika Waititi are heading to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to discuss their work and the power of media, it was announced Thursday.

DuVernay, Patrick Gaspard, Rae, Megan Smith and Christine Vachon will speak on a panel titled “Power of Story: Culture Shift” to talk about their work as well as the role of creative choices in our ever-shifting culture. The conversation will be led by Washington Post journalist Sarah Ellison on Jan. 19.

Hardwicke, Waititi and Justin Lin will talk about the advantages and challenges of moving from independent filmmaking to big-budget studio films with moderator John Horn on Jan. 26, on a panel titled “Power of Story: Indies Go Hollywood.”

Other noteworthy conversations at the festival include talks between will.i.am and Kevin Smith; Danny Elfman and Gus Van Sant; Justice Ginsberg and Nina Totenberg; Ira Glass and Miranda July; and Ethan Hawke and Rupert Everett.

Octavia Spencer, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Darren Aronofsky and Steven Soderbergh will also take part in conversations at the festival.

A Celebration of Music and Film will present an evening with Joan Jett who will take the stage with The Blackhearts on Jan. 20, in celebration of the premiere of the documentary “Bad Reputation.” Other live music at the festival will include performances by Michael Franti, Brett Dennen, Mr. Hudson, Ruelle, Ethan Gruska and Striking Matches.

The Sundance Film Festival will take place from Jan. 18-28 in Park City, Utah.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sundance Filmmaker Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Misconduct

'Ingrid Goes West': Neon Founders Discuss Sundance Bidding War for Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen Instagram Stalker Pic (Video)

Sundance Selects Acquires Martin Scorsese-Produced 'A Ciambra'

Sundance: Wes Anderson VR, Joaquin Phoenix Indie, RuPaul Retrospect Join Lineup

Eight feature films, a Wes Anderson VR experience and a RuPaul retrospective have been added to the Sundance 2018 lineup, the Sundance Institute announced Tuesday.

RuPul is set to convene a retrospective of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and host a panel with executive producers and Sundance Film Festival veterans Randy Barbato and Fenton Baily, alongside Tom Campbell and SVP of Original Programming for MTV, VH1 and Logo Pamela Post. He will also serve as the NEXT Innovator Award juror and will present the award to his favorite film in the category.

The virtual reality experience, “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality),” places the viewer inside the world of Anderson’s upcoming stop-motion film.

Also Read: Sundance 2018 Lineup: Lizzie Borden, Oscar Wilde, Jane Fonda and a lot of Lakeith Stanfield

“Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, “Hereditary,” “Lords of Chaos,” “The Long Dumb Road, “Private Life,” “Sweet Country” and Joaquin Phoenix’s “You Were Never Really Here” join the program lineup.

“Hearts Beat Loud,” which was announced earlier in the Premieres section, is now confirmed as a Closing Night Film.

For the upcoming festival, which will be held in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 18 to Jan. 28, 121 feature-length films were selected, including 30 in competition. 108 feature films showing at the festival will have their world premiere.

Also Read: Sundance Filmmaker Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Misconduct

Last month, the 2018 festival started coming in to focus. Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart will bring ax-murdering intrigue with the Lizzie Borden drama “Lizzie,” Rupert Everett is stepping up as writer-director on an Oscar Wilde biopic with Academy Award winner Colin Firth; Steven Spielberg documentarian Susan Lacy examines Jane Fonda; and “Get Out’  and “Atlanta” breakout star Lakeith Stanfield will get a leading man turn in films this year.

Related stories from TheWrap:

David Madden Named President of Original Programming, AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios

‘Ingrid Goes West’: Neon Founders Discuss Sundance Bidding War for Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen Instagram Stalker Pic (Video)

‘Wind River’ Goes From the Snow in Sundance to the Beach at Cannes

Eight feature films, a Wes Anderson VR experience and a RuPaul retrospective have been added to the Sundance 2018 lineup, the Sundance Institute announced Tuesday.

RuPul is set to convene a retrospective of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and host a panel with executive producers and Sundance Film Festival veterans Randy Barbato and Fenton Baily, alongside Tom Campbell and SVP of Original Programming for MTV, VH1 and Logo Pamela Post. He will also serve as the NEXT Innovator Award juror and will present the award to his favorite film in the category.

The virtual reality experience, “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality),” places the viewer inside the world of Anderson’s upcoming stop-motion film.

“Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, “Hereditary,” “Lords of Chaos,” “The Long Dumb Road, “Private Life,” “Sweet Country” and Joaquin Phoenix’s “You Were Never Really Here” join the program lineup.

“Hearts Beat Loud,” which was announced earlier in the Premieres section, is now confirmed as a Closing Night Film.

For the upcoming festival, which will be held in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 18 to Jan. 28, 121 feature-length films were selected, including 30 in competition. 108 feature films showing at the festival will have their world premiere.

Last month, the 2018 festival started coming in to focus. Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart will bring ax-murdering intrigue with the Lizzie Borden drama “Lizzie,” Rupert Everett is stepping up as writer-director on an Oscar Wilde biopic with Academy Award winner Colin Firth; Steven Spielberg documentarian Susan Lacy examines Jane Fonda; and “Get Out’  and “Atlanta” breakout star Lakeith Stanfield will get a leading man turn in films this year.

Related stories from TheWrap:

David Madden Named President of Original Programming, AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios

'Ingrid Goes West': Neon Founders Discuss Sundance Bidding War for Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen Instagram Stalker Pic (Video)

'Wind River' Goes From the Snow in Sundance to the Beach at Cannes