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MPI Media picks up ‘Paper Man’

Fest dealmaking has yet to kick in; buzz on 'Company Men'

Snow continues to pile up in Park City, but the dealmaking hasn’t kicked into high gear — yet.

One pact to emerge today wasn’t for a Sundance pic but a film that bowed at last summer’s Los Angeles Film Festival. Michele and Kieran Mulroney’s dramedy “Paper Man” finally inked a distribution deal with MPI Media Group. Chicago-based MPI, a vid specialist, picked up North American rights and has set “Paper” for a late spring theatrical release. Jeff Daniels stars along with Ryan Reynolds, Lisa Kudrow and Emma Stone.

Pic’s connection to Sundance is Reynolds, who is in Park City for another indie, Rodrigo Cortes’ thriller “Buried,” which unspools later tonight.

Reynolds showed up at a late-night party Friday for the fest’s biggest sleeper so far, “Catfish.” Doc is about a photographer who starts up an online relationship with an eight-year old who asked for permission to paint one of his photographs; he then ends up getting into a cyber relationship with her older sister. “Catfish,” which has a twist, of course, got a huge response at its first midday screening on Friday. Co-director Ariel Schulman was celebrating at a huge hillside manse along with his brother, the docu’s subject, Yaniv Schulman.

Film’s reps at CAA say they’ll take their time finding the right distribution pact for the doc. There are myriad deal options possible these days, given the ever-morphing mix of theatrical, VOD and the Internet, and they’re looking for a good fit.

Among the available titles to unspool Friday night and Saturday morning was John Wells’ feature directorial debut “The Company Men,” which is getting solid responses and some distrib interest, according to one buyer.

“Splice” helmer Vincenzo Natali, taking meetings on Main Street this afternoon, said that he’d heard from his reps that a deal on his thriller was imminent. It also screened at midnight Friday. CAA confirmed that talks with several parties were ongoing.

Other Friday preems, such as Josh Radnor’s directing bow “happythankyoumoreplease” and the midnight screening for “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil,” went down well. An additional private buyer-only screening was skedded for “Tucker” at 11:15 p.m. tonight at the Yarrow Hotel.

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