Daily Buzz: Which films will win the big awards tonight? IndieWIRE's Peter Knegt makes his predictions here. Check this space tomorrow to see how well he did, or watch the ceremony live tonight (8PM MST) as it streams on the Sundance website.
Summing up the festival, Hollywood Reporter critic Kirk Honeycutt agrees with his Variety counterpart Todd McCarthy that Sundance didn't live up to its billing this year as a hotbed of "rebellion." Unlike McCarthy, Honeycutt doesn't think that's a bad thing. The films may not have been that innovative or challenging, but at least they were good.
As Sundance winds down, are there still deals to be made? IndieWIRE says the Weinstein Company is still eager to buy Afghan War documentary 'The Tillman Story,' about NFL pro-turned-friendly fire casualty Pat Tillman, but that other distributors are still in the running.
News: With all the make-believe unspooling on screen, you wouldn't think festivalgoers would mind an actual movie production taking place on the streets of Park City, but the town felt otherwise about a film shoot of a shotgun shootout that was to have featured 50 Cent. According to the Park Record, authorities nixed the outdoor shoot for fear of frightening visitors and confusing local police. (The town permitted the filming of other scenes taking place indoors.) The paper reported that the scenes are for the film 'Vengeance,' starring Danny Trejo. That seems unlikely, since Trejo completed that pet project last year, but he is reportedly working on a sequel.
Besides filming a new movie, 50 was in town to attend the premiere of 'Twelve,' in which he costars with Chace Crawford and Emma Roberts. (Both of them were on hand for the premiere as well.) The movie, a drama about spoiled, rich New York teens involved in drugs and other misbehavior, was nearly laughed off the screen earlier this week when it was first shown to festivalgoers, but distributor Hannover House had already bought the movie, sight unseen, for $2 million.
That's not the week's only headscratcher purchase. On Saturday morning, according to Variety (subscription required), IFC Films paid $1.5 million for 'The Killer Inside Me,' a graphically violent noir that has been a source of controversy throughout the festival week. Of course, IFC was similarly fearless last year when it bought Lars von Trier's similarly extreme and brutal 'Antichrist.'
Other deals: IndieWIRE reports that Oprah Winfrey's new cable venture OWN bought 'Family Affair,' Chico Colvard's documentary about his own violent childhood. OWN is starting what it calls a Documentary Club, in the hopes of doing for non-fiction films what Oprah's Book Club has done for publishing. IndieWIRE also reports that Peruvian gay love story 'Undertow' sold to Wolfe releasing for a price in the "low six figures," and indieWIRE also has more on the sale yesterday of Ryan Gosling's 'Blue Valentine' to the Weinstein Company, noting that TWC also has Gosling's 'All Good Things,' so we can expect a big awards push for the actor come fall.
In early prize-giving, according to Variety (subscription required), the Sloan Prize (for Sundance fiction features dealing with science) went to Diane Bell's 'Obselidia,' a drama in which the protagonist's fear of apocalypse-by-global-warming leads him to collect and preserve obsolete objects.
Sundance isn't the only festival going on in Park City this week. It's also the setting of Slamdance, the once-scrappy alternative festival started in 1995 for indie films considered too offbeat for Sundance. Of course, now that Slamdance is in its 16th year, it has become an institution just like Sundance has, complete with its own movie stereotypes (Slamdance tends to like horror and midnight-movie fare) and dealmaking (two years ago, Paramount bought 'Paranormal Activity' at Slamdance). IndieWIRE evaluates this year's Slamdance and lists the award winners.
Interviews: Bollywood came to Sundance this year in the form of Indian superstar Aamir Khan, who came to promote 'Peepil Live,' a political satire he produced. IndieWIRE's Anne Thompson talks to him at length in a video interview.
Reviews: IndieWIRE likes backwoods noir 'Winter's Bone.' The site also has a roundup of other critics' responses to some of Sundance's most buzzed-about documentaries: 'GasLand,' '12th & Delaware,' and 'Smash His Camera.'
Video: Because no day at this year's Sundance would be complete without a Kristen Stewart item: For the premiere of Stewart's 'Welcome to the Rileys,' producers auctioned off two tickets to fans, with the proceeds going toward relief efforts in Haiti. Two superfans came all the way from Toronto and San Francisco, respectively, in hopes of attending the film and rubbing shoulders with the 'Twilight' actress. Watch how their dedication was rewarded, below.