Memo to Sundance filmmakers: Be distinct

Only a few years ago, a first-time filmmaker might bring a good movie or fresh idea to the Sundance Film Festival and, simply because they made it into the event, walk away with a paycheck. But not anymore.

Sundance, the top U.S. gathering for independent film, headed into the second-half of its 10-day run on Tuesday with only a few titles, including thriller "Buried," having been acquired by distributors.

Gone are the days when headlines trumpeted record-breaking sales ("Little Miss Sunshine" in 2006), and distributors bought movies here just to be a player in the market for low-budget dramas and comedies made outside Hollywood's studios.

Those heady times of the late 1990s and 2000s have been replaced by a greater focus on what makes a film unique and more business savvy about production costs and marketing.

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Commentary, Film Festival


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