Sundance to set pace for indie year ahead as industry convenes

Screen | 1/23/2019 | Jeremy Kay
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Kicking off on Thursday (24), Sundance Film Festival offers the first real opportunity of 2019 for buyers – be they established, reconfigured, reinvented, or simply new – and sellers to test the waters on a new crop of material and get a sense of what might register with industry and audiences in the months ahead.

International sales agent in attendance will then have to scramble across the Atlantic to attend the Berlinale and EFM market. A dovetailing of scheduling eccentricities means there are only four days between the end of Sundance and the start of Berlin.

Sundance - Martin - Luther - King - Jr

Sundance was dated later than usual to avoid a Martin Luther King Jr holiday that fell on January 21, and the festival ends on February 3. With no Winter Olympics to contend with this year, the Berlinale and EFM film market launch on February 7 in the more familiar early February slot.

There has been griping from some international sales agents that the narrow gap will make it hard to negotiate for international rights and prepare materials for EFM buyers should a US representative hold out for a worldwide deal with a studio or streamer. Time will tell. Most international sellers will already be well into finalising their EFM slates and besides, few of them stay much beyond the first few days of Sundance, by which time a tricky negotiation might well have thawed.

Park - City - Screening - Schedule - Acquisition

Park City’s front-loaded screening schedule of acquisition titles will create the usual early buzz and once again the festival is expected to set the pace as indie tastemaker for the year ahead. The US distribution landscape never stays still for long. Now that Netflix and Amazon Studios have shown they are not as eager as they once were to snap up handfuls of films at Sundance as they focus on their production mandates, others...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Screen
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