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A Big Day for Deals at Sundance

Weinstein buys “Blue Valentine,” “Tillman”; Oprah’s OWN picks up “Family Affair”

Saturday Update: 

More deals came tumbling out of Sundance as IFC bought the rights to the controversial Michael Winterbottom film, "The Killer Inside Me," and Roadside Attractions picked up the critically-praised drama, "Winter’s Bone," starring newcomer Jennifer Lawrence. 

For more details see: IFC Buys Winterbottom’s ‘Killer’, and More Deals: Roadside Buys ‘Winter’s Bone’.


[Update: 01/29/10, 2:00 p.m.]

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN has acquired the rights to Chico David Colvard’s documentary "Family Affair," the network announced on Friday. The deal was brokered by the film’s producer Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan of Impact Partners. The network would not disclose how much it spent to acquire the film.

"Family Affair" tells Colvard’s family history, using as a jumping off point, the story of how the director at 10 years old shot his older sister in the leg. The movie also examines the traumatic abuse that Colvard and his three sisters received at the hands of their father, making its story of resilence in the face of adversity a natural fit for the channel’s programming.

This is the first film acquisition for OWN, which intends to show the movie as part of its monthly series on documentaries called the Doc Club.

“OWN is about real life stories of self-discovery, inspiration and transformation,” Chief Executive Officer Christina Norman said in a statement. “’Family Affair’ is exactly that – a multi-layered, raw and provocative family story. I applaud Chico Colvard for his bravery in creating a deeply personal film that shares with us his pain, his anger and ultimately his transformation.”

[Update: 01/29/10, 1 p.m.]

The Weinstein has acquired domestic theatrical  rights for "The Tillman Story" for $1 million, TheWrap has confirmed.

The critically acclaimed documentary will be released later this year.

This caps a busy day of dealmaking for the company, which snagged two audience favorites in a less than 24 hour period after watching other buzzed about movies such as "The Kids Are Alright" and "Buried" go to rivals Focus and Lionsgate.


The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S., Canadian and Pan-Asian satellite rights to the romantic drama, "Blue Valentine," TheWrap has confirmed.

No word yet on an exact money figure, but it is rumored to be in the $1 million range. The deal was negotiated by WME Global head Graham Taylor, Weinstein Company chief Harvey Weinstein, and the head of the studio’s international division David Glasser. Negotiations ended at 5:00 a.m.

The deal for the well-reviewed movie marks the first major acquisition for the studio, which has kept a relatively low profile so far.

That may not last for long.

It’s also expected that Weinstein will make a major push for "The Tillman Story," a documentary about the U.S. Army coverup of the friendly fire death of football star Pat Tillman that received a standing ovation at its screening during its Saturday night premiere.

Like last year’s Sundance breakout hit, "500 Days of Summer," "Valentine" tells the story of the dissolution of a relationship out of chronological order — think of it as a sexier version of Harold Pinter’s "Betrayal." In this incarnation the two lovers are played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, lending the project some star wattage.