Indie channel buys Burnett's debut pic

NEW YORK — Kicking off its commitment to acquire feature films that have not received theatrical distribution, the Sundance Channel has acquired domestic pay TV rights to Allison Burnett’s directorial debut, “Red Meat.”

The dark comedy about two single men who meet every month to lift weights, eat steak and talk about women will make its world premiere on the net Nov. 6. It will be repeated Nov. 14, 18, 23 and 29.

“Discovering great titles like ‘Red Meat’ is at the core of Sundance Channel’s mandate,” said Tom Harbeck, exec veepee of programming and creative director. “Viewers count on us to bring them great films that they can’t see anywhere else and we’re looking forward to doing this on a more regular basis.”

Liz Manne, senior veepee of programming and creative marketing at Sundance, told Daily Variety that the net plans to air a world premiere at least six times a year.

“Red Meat,” which is set in Los Angeles, was also written by Burnett, who scripted MGM/UA’s “Autumn in New York,” starring Richard Gere, and Gregory Hines’ directorial debut, “Bleeding Hearts,” which will soon premiere on Cinemax.

“Meat,” which screened at the Cannes market and at the Slamdance fest, stars Lara Flynn Boyle, James Frain, Jennifer Grey, Stephen Mailer and John Slattery. It was produced by Oliver Eberle and Marco Weber for Treehouse Films/IMEC.

Larry Greenberg, supervisor of acquisitions for Showtime Networks Inc. and the Sundance Channel, negotiated the deal with Larry Rattner of Peninsula Films, attorney Bill Skrzyniarz and Gregory McKnight of the William Morris Agency on behalf of Burnett.

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