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Sundance 2018 Programming Breakdown: Big Buys, Actor-Directors, and Hot-Button Issues

Sundance 2018 Programming Breakdown: Big Buys, Actor-Directors, and Hot-Button Issues
Ten months after the Sundance Film Festival debut of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” — which terrified and delighted festgoers at a secret screening last January, en route to a $250- million worldwide box office and growing award season haul — festival director John Cooper and head programmer Trevor Groth talked to IndieWire about their process for finding films for Sundance’s 39th installment (January 18-28) with similar breakout potential, even if the 2018 Sundance slate is less sprawling than its predecessor (104 films vs. 113, culled from 29 countries).

Read More:Sundance 2018 Competition Lineup Boasts New Films from Paul Dano, Reed Morano, Idris Elba, Ethan Hawke, and More

Here’s our breakdown of this year’s thematic trends and hot buys.

African-American stories

“We saw a real increase in [stories told from] the unique perspective and experience of African-American males in American society right now,” said Cooper, citing four of the 16 films in 2018’s U.S. Dramatic Competition alone: “Monster,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Sundance 2018 Programming Breakdown: Big Buys, Actor-Directors, and Hot-Button Issues

  • Indiewire
Sundance 2018 Programming Breakdown: Big Buys, Actor-Directors, and Hot-Button Issues
Ten months after the Sundance Film Festival debut of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” — which terrified and delighted festgoers at a secret screening last January, en route to a $250- million worldwide box office and growing award season haul — festival director John Cooper and head programmer Trevor Groth talked to IndieWire about their process for finding films for Sundance’s 39th installment (January 18-28) with similar breakout potential, even if the 2018 Sundance slate is less sprawling than its predecessor (104 films vs. 113, culled from 29 countries).

Read More:Sundance 2018 Competition Lineup Boasts New Films from Paul Dano, Reed Morano, Idris Elba, Ethan Hawke, and More

Here’s our breakdown of this year’s thematic trends and hot buys.

African-American stories

“We saw a real increase in [stories told from] the unique perspective and experience of African-American males in American society right now,” said Cooper, citing four of the 16 films in 2018’s U.S. Dramatic Competition alone: “Monster,
See full article at Indiewire »

Amazon Studios Banks on Indie Auteurs at CinemaCon Preview

What a difference a year makes: Amazon Studios’ lunch at CinemaCon 2017 was packed. Not like last year. “We were a new studio brand who had released one movie and bought five at Sundance,” said Jason Ropell, Amazon’s worldwide head of Motion Pictures. “We were planning to release 15 movies. It was ambitious and pretty damned scary.”

It turned out exhibitors did fine with Amazon’s movies, especially Oscar-winning $47-million-grosser “Manchester By the Sea,” which was released by Roadside Attractions and is winding up its 19th week in theaters. Other hits included Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen comedy “Love & Friendship” (19 weeks) and Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” (12 weeks), along with arthouse entries “The Handmaiden” (18 weeks), documentary “Gleason” and Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman,” which collected the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Ropell and head of movie marketing and distribution Bob Berney, who is well known by exhibitors, scored rousing applause whenever
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Amazon Studios Banks on Indie Auteurs at CinemaCon Preview

What a difference a year makes: Amazon Studios’ lunch at CinemaCon 2017 was packed. Not like last year. “We were a new studio brand who had released one movie and bought five at Sundance,” said Jason Ropell, Amazon’s worldwide head of Motion Pictures. “We were planning to release 15 movies. It was ambitious and pretty damned scary.”

It turned out exhibitors did fine with Amazon’s movies, especially Oscar-winning $47-million-grosser “Manchester By the Sea,” which was released by Roadside Attractions and is winding up its 19th week in theaters. Other hits included Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen comedy “Love & Friendship” (19 weeks) and Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” (12 weeks), along with arthouse entries “The Handmaiden” (18 weeks), documentary “Gleason” and Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman,” which collected the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Ropell and head of movie marketing and distribution Bob Berney, who is well known by exhibitors, scored rousing applause whenever
See full article at Indiewire »

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