Sundance Sales: Fox Searchlight Nabs 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'
by Alex Billington
January 25, 2011
Don't believe anyone who says otherwise, it's a hell of a year for sales at Sundance 2011. Now that the first weekend is over, sales have been coming in full force and non-stop recently. Just yesterday we reported on a big batch of acquisitions, now we have another big batch. Leading the pack is Fox Searchlight once again, who picked up Sean Durkin's film Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring Sundance sensation Elizabeth Olsen (the third Olsen sister), which is one of the most buzzed about films at this fest. To find out about that project as well as the sale of the documentary Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times, read on!
"Sean Durkin has crafted a riveting first feature," said Fox Searchlight's President of Production, Claudia Lewis, in regards to Martha Marcy May Marlene. "We are thrilled to be working with a director who has such an original voice. We hope to make many more films with Borderline Films, this exceptional team of young filmmakers." I haven't seen the film yet, but I've been hearing from many friends (Eric of IONCinema, Jordan of The Film Stage) that it's currently their #1 favorite film of Sundance. Martha Marcy May Marlene stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha, a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult. It's scheduled for release sometime in 2011.
In other recent sales, the New York Times documentary Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times was acquired by Participant Media (Food Inc, Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth) and Magnolia Pictures. The two are partnering to release the buzzed-about doc and have committed to a "strong theatrical release" this year (via Deadline). Additionally, IFC Films picked up Matthew Chapman's The Ledge, which I've heard mostly terrible buzz about, starring Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard. Lastly, National Geographic Films picked up Life in a Day, that crowd-sourced YouTube doc produced by Kevin Macdonald & Ridley Scott. The 90-minute film was created from 80,000 clips shot on July 24, 2010.
We'll continue to keep you updated on any other major sales or news coming out of Sundance, as we expect their to be plenty more throughout the week. In the meantime, you can follow our Sundance coverage here.
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