'Following,' 'Cowards,' 'Otik' part of package

NEW YORK — Sundance Channel has picked up American pay TV rights to 20 independent films and one skein via package deals with Zeitgeist Films, Palm Pictures and Strand Releasing.

Sundance acquired nine pics from Zeitgeist, including Christopher Nolan’s first feature “Following” and Guy Maddin’s “Cowards Bend the Knee.” Sundance secured video-on-demand rights for “Cowards” and also “Little Otik” and “James’ Journey to Jerusalem.” Francois Ozon’s film “See the Sea” and his short “A Summer Dress” were both relicensed by the channel as part of the deal.

Net acquired five movies from Palm Pictures, including rock ‘n’ roll docu “Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt” and Hsiao-hsien Hou’s “Millennium Mambo.” Sundance picked up the 14-episode TV series “City of Men,” about teenagers in Rio de Janeiro, directed by “City of God” helmers Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund, among others.

Six-pic Strand package will see “Tony Takitani,” directed by Jun Ichikawa and in theaters now, and Fatih Akin’s “Head-On” coming to Sundance. All will be available on VOD.

All films will have their U.S. television premiere on the Sundance Channel.

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