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Sundance 2013: Sales Talks Swirl Around ‘Concussion,’ ‘Don Jon’s Addiction,’ ‘Fruitvale’

Documentaries dominate early dealing, but a sale of "Don Jon's Addiction" could open floodgates

Bidding has begun to heat up at Sundance after a sleepy first few days, as buzzed about movies like “Concussion,” “Don Jon’s Addiction” and “Fruitvale” near sale.

Most of the early deals have been for documentaries. Sundance Selects took Nick Ryan’s “The Summit,” about mountain climbers on K2, and Richard Rowley’s “Dirty Wars,” which follows a journalist searching for dirt on America’s covert wars.

Showtime bought a two-part documentary about The Eagles and The Weinstein Company’s multi-platform label RADiUS nabbed “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” about some of rock’s greatest back-up singers.

Interest in the huge number of documentary films at Sundance persists, but the market for dramas and comedies is heating up.

One project nearing sale is ” Concussion” Stacie Passon’s movie about a married lesbian who find solace in prostitution after a head injury impels her to change her life. The film, which premiered Saturday at Sundance, is one of the most provocative films in a year filled with tales of promiscuity, sexual addiction and other scintillating fare. RADiUS and Fox Searchlight have both been in pursuit, with Paradigm handling sales.

Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale,” based on the shooting of Oscar Grant, is also on the block, with companies like The Weinstein Company weighing offers. Bids are in the $1 to $1.5 million range for that one, which WME is selling.

One of the biggest sales may be for “Don Jon’s Addiction,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directing debut that drew strong reviews after its Friday premiere. Once that movie goes, the floodgates should open.