Just because everyone's been analyzing and criticizing Oscar nominations this morning doesn't mean that the dealmaking stands still at Sundance. Some of the biggest deals of the festival have taken place in the past 18 hours:
- It's just been confirmed that Fox Searchlight has partnered with The Weinstein Company to acquire worldwide distribution rights to La Misma Luna (The Same Moon) for an estimated $5-6 million. This is a significantly large deal for this year's festival, in which deals had previously topped out at around $4 million. The movie is about a boy in Mexico who attempts to travel to the U.S. to find his mother. Rumors had been circulating that this film was generating a lot of interest in buyers at Sundance, who packed the film's Sundance screening on Monday. La Misma Luna is the feature directorial debut for Patricia Riggen.
- According to Variety, a fierce bidding war has taken place over distribution rights for the feature Son of Rambow (pictured at right), which premiered last night at Sundance. It's estimated that competitive bids from Fox Searchlight, Paramount Vantage and Miramax were climbing as high as $8 or $9 million, which would make the deal the biggest yet for this year's festival. Although unconfirmed, it currently appears that Paramount Vantage has won the deal for the British film about a young boy transformed by exposure to the Rambo movies. The movie is directed by Garth Jennings, who also directed The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- Magnolia Pictures has bought the North American and UK distribution rights to The Signal, a horror film about a supernatural radio/TV transmission that brings out the killer instinct in those who receive it. The film is told in three episodes from differing perspectives. Magnolia is estimated to have paid $2 million in the deal. The film is co-written and co-directed by David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry.