Agents seek homes for small films at Sundance


When sales agent Andrew Herwitz brought "Live-In Maid" to the Sundance Film Festival three years ago, he hoped to land a quick sale, with the promise of the Spanish-language movie's arriving in theaters a few months down the road. But as often turns out with the festival's slighter movies, Sundance was just the start of Herwitz's odyssey with the film.

Some Sundance festivals spark pricey sales, like the Sundance record $10.5-million deal for "Little Miss Sunshine" in 2006. But as this year's festival is proving -- not a single dramatic movie found a theatrical release over the first three days -- dozens of Sundance movies can go home with no buyer at all, and many others fetch only a few hundred thousand dollars -- if that much.

The movies that tend to sell for seven figures and more are usually star-laden comedies with obvious marketing hooks, but even this year's "What Just Happened?" with Robert De Niro and "Sunshine Cleaning" with Amy Adams have so far failed to launch a buying frenzy.

Not surprisingly, it's much harder to find a home for films like "Live-In Maid," a low-budget drama about an Argentine family's having to let go its longtime domestic help. But Sundance is overflowing with similarly tricky movies, and the sales agents handling them are sometimes required to go to unusual lengths to bring them to moviegoers.

(Source: LA Times)

Film Business, Film Festival

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