Good morning, let's get right to it...
The seeds of deals that were beginning to be sown in Park City, began to come to fruition last week, with three major announcements for Sundance docs (and at least two more due to announced shortly).
First up was the sale of out-of-competition buzz favorite CATFISH to Relativity Media and Rogue Pictures (with Brett Ratner helping to broker the deal and taking on Executive Producer duties). Next, IFC grabbed Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern's JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, followed quickly by a pact for Amir Bar-Lev's THE TILLMAN STORY with The Weinstein Co.
Those sales come as the film year hums merrily along (with Sundance turning into Rotterdam so to turn into Berlin) and slates and programs are announced for the next round of fests. We covered SXSW's line-up last week (see here, here and here), there were also program announcements for True/False (more on that later) and Thessaloniki.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country (and prior to the snowpocalypse), Washington DC was abuzz with this year's RealScreen Summit - the annual reality television confab that draws broadcasters and nonfiction producers (and those who want to be) and charges a sizable fee for supplying the proximity. Those of us in the documentary film world have long known of the Summit and it's trade magazine namesake, RealScreen, as a kind of corporate 2nd cousin twice removed. While they may brand themselves as "the best in non-fiction" on their website, a banner ad for RealScreen's "factual entertainment awards" - "the first truly global celebration of factual entertainment excellence!" - and headlines about reality stalwarts Endemol and ex-NBC programming chief Ben Silverman's "newly formed multimedia company" tell you that RealScreen's heart is really in reality strips.