Sundance: Paramount Vantage Buys American Teen Doc
by Alex Billington
January 23, 2008
One of the most buzzed about films that's being called the best of Sundance is Nanette Burstein's documentary American Teen. The film is a documentary that follows four high school seniors for a year, and I've overheard someone refer to it as somewhat similar to MTV's "The Hills". While I haven't seen it yet, I've heard nothing but great things. Peter from SlashFilm urges that "you must see this movie" and Neil from Film School Rejects calls it "one of the best films of the Sundance Film Festival, hands down". Good news - Paramount Vantage closed on a deal for the film for $1 million earlier today.
A number of other major studios were bidding on the film after its debut, including Fox Searchlight (for a reported $1.5 million) and Sony Pictures Classics, but earlier today it officially ended up in the hands of Paramount Vantage. The price was only $1 million, but it came with a promise of a significant promotion and advertising commitment. This sale marks the fourth film to sell from Sundance so far, including Choke, Hamlet 2, and Henry Poole is Here.
Sundance describes the film as the following. American Teen intimately follows the lives of four teenagers in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. Using cinema vérité footage, interviews, and animation, it presents a candid portrait of being 17 and all that goes with it. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, the experimentation with sex and alcohol, the parental pressures, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future.
Stay tuned for our review tomorrow night. Look for American Teen to arrive in theaters most likely sometime this year.
Update: I finally saw American Teen and loved it. It's a great film and I'm really excited to see what Paramount Vantage will do with it. You can read my review for the film here. This could be a huge hit and I hope Paramount Vantage does a great job in marketing it.