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Sundance 2014 Acquisitions: Volume One

By Garth Franklin Tuesday January 21st 2014 05:31AM

Lionsgate is closing a deal to acquire North American rights to the horror comedy "Cooties" which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. Elijah Wood plays a struggling writer/substitute teacher whose first day at an elementary school sees him dealing with a virus that turns the kids into mindless killing cannibals.

Fox Searchlight has acquired worldwide rights to Mike Cahill's sci-fi film "I, Origins". Michael Pitt and Brit Marling star in the story of a group of biologists who make a discovery that has far-reaching consequences.

RADiUS-TWC has paid low seven figures for North American rights to Timo Tjahjanto's "The Night Comes For Us". "The Raid" director Gareth Evans will produce while Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian will star in the story of a Jakarta mobster with a 2015 release planned.

Focus Features has paid around $2.8 million for North American, Poland and South African rights to Zach Braff's Kickstarter-funded feature "Wish I Was Here". The story follows a 30-something man at a crossroads in life.

A24 has acquired Gillian Robespierre's "Obvious Child". Jenny Slate plays a Brooklyn comedian who gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the most chaotic Valentine’s Day of her life. A 2014 theatrical release is planned.

Sony Pictures Classics has paid around $3 million for North American, Australian, New Zealand and German rights to Damien Chazelle's jazz drummer drama "Whiplash" starring Miles Teller and JK Simmons.

Participant Media's cable network Pivot and Univision News have picked up U.S. rights to "Cesar's Last Fast," a documentary about Cesar Chavez. The story covers the 36-day fast undertaken by Chavez to bring attention to the dangers of the liberal use of pesticides on farm workers, their families and communities.

Anchor Bay Films has picked up all theatrical, VOD, digital and home entertainment rights to Robert Hall's horror tale "Fear Clinic" for a late 2014 release. Robert Englund plays a doctor who attempts to cure patients suffering from crippling phobias by placing them inside a chamber where he induces and controls hallucinations.

A year after it premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival, the James Franco-produced and Christina Voros-directed documentary "Kink" explores the San Francisco fetish website of the same name.

Funny Or Die is partnering with Unison Films and Defendor Films on the New Zealand vampire doco comedy "What We Do In The Shadows". The project has its world premiere at Sundance.

Lionsgate and CNN Films have paid around $1 million for North American rights to Todd Miller's documentary "Dinosaur 13". The story explores the legal and political brouhaha that ensued after a team of paleontologists discovered the remains of the biggest T-Rex ever found.

A24 has paid around $2 million for U.S. rights to Lynn Shelton's coming-of-age story "Laggies". Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell star in the tale of a young woman stuck in perpetual adolescence who is rocked by a marriage proposal. A summer release is planned.

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