The Samuel Goldwyn Co. has acquired worldwide theatrical and video rights to the documentary “Road Scholar,” adding to the list of Sundance titles headed for U.S. art houses.

Produced and directed by Roger Weisberg, “Road Scholar” depicts National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu’s six-week, 4,500-mile journey through the United States in a red 1968 Cadillac convertible.

‘Crowd pleaser’

Comparing the movie to “Roger & Me,” Goldwyn veepee of production and acquisition Howard Cohen said the company planned to release the “crowd pleaser” in the fall.

He noted that “Road Scholar” is far removed from the serious nature of Goldwyn’s two previous documentaries, “35 Up” and “Hotel Terminus.”

“Road Scholar” follows Fine Line Features acquisition of “Amongst Friends” and October Films’ acquisition of “Ruby in Paradise” as Sundance Film Festival entries already snapped up by domestic distributors.

Move toward independents

Cohen acknowledged that Goldwyn’s acquisition of “Road Scholar” signals the company’s re-emphasis on indie movie acquisition. Last week, Goldwyn paid roughly $ 750,000 for the rights to “The Wedding Banquet,” which looks like one of the company’s major 1993 releases.

Cross-promoted with book

“Critics and audiences have been very responsive in the past year to independent films. We are responding by being more aggressive,” said Cohen, adding that the company is chasing at least one more movie for late 1993 release.

“Road Scholar” will be cross promoted with the simultaneous release of a book from Hyperion Press.

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