European films generate deal-making in Sundance
by Liza Foreman
26/01/2012 - Besides generating a fair amount of the deal-making, European titles have also been amongst the most critically acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival this year. One of the must-see titles at the festival was British director AndreaArnold’s adaptation of the Emily Bronte novel Wuthering Heights [trailer, film focus] which screened early on and helped deliver a high caliber of films from the get-go.
The quality-film theme continued with the screening on Tuesday night of British director James Marsh’s The Shadow Dancer, a moving film set in Belfast in 1973 when a young woman from a Loyalist IRA family is forced to become an informer for Britain’s MI5. The film stars Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson, Andrea Riseborough and Aidan Gillen.
After the screening on Tuesday, a number of North American distributors expressed interest in the film, which is being handled by France's Wild Bunch and CAA.
One buyer, however, said that subtitles might be necessary in North America to understand the thick Irish accents. The film will be selling in Berlin next month.
Although the majority of attendees were from North America, several European companies made the trek to Sundance this year.
London-based Momentum Pictures/Alliance Films Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions Robert Walak said: “We are elated to see The Raid, which Alliance pre-bought in Cannes on footage for momentum in the U.K. and alliance in Canada with a new score.”
“Standout films here include Beast of the Southern Wild; Safety Not Guaranteed; Robot and Frank; Liberal Arts; and Disturbed by VHS”, he said. “From Europe, Spanish director Rodrigo Cortes’ Red Lights [trailer] is an interesting film and British director Bart Layton’s Imposter is also very strong.”