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Weinsteins bullish on ‘Matador’

CAA gets 'Rize' out doc

PARK CITY — As Sundance finished out its first, crowded weekend, Miramax Films co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein were the latest A-list execs to hit Park City. The brothers closed a pact to pick up Pierce Brosnan starrer “The Matador” from CAA.

CAA agents were extra busy wheeling and dealing in the mountains Monday, also sealing a pact to sell off worldwide distribution rights to hip-hop doc “Rize” to Lions Gate Films.

After making a preemptive buy on the Oz-set horror pic “Wolf Creek” that stunned the acquisitions world — one that assumed Miramax was sidelined due to the Weinsteins’ contract talks with Disney — the brothers followed up by forking over $7.5 million for rights to “Matador” for English-speaking and other territories.

Their “Creek” was set to premiere here Monday.

Directed by David LaChapelle, “Rize” is an insider’s look at “krumping,” a form of competitive dancing that originated in South Central Los Angeles as an alternative to gang violence.

Meanwhile, bidding was heating up on “Hard Candy,” David Slade’s tale of a teen girl who meets a man in his 30s on the Internet and the sexual politics that ensue after they rendezvous in person.

Lions Gate, Focus Features and New Line were vying for the pic. U.K.’s Redbus picked up distribution rights for what was thought to be in the neighborhood of $1 million from William Morris Independent, while Spanish rights sold to Aurum and Icon picked up pic for Australia.

In the swim

Warner Independent and Focus, among others, were interested in “On a Clear Day,” being repped by Cinetic Media. Pic, which was the fest’s opener Friday in Salt Lake City, is the Glasgow-set story of a 55-year-old blue collar worker who gets laid off and determines to swim the English Channel.

Park City was also buzzing that Sony Pictures Classics was closing in on Rian Johnson’s contempo-noir feature in competition, “Brick.”

Other pics in play include Ira Sachs’ competition entry “Forty Shades of Blue,” competish doc “The Education of Shelby Knox,” comedy doc “The Aristocrats” and the Jenny McCarthy starrer “Dirty Love.”


Sunday night preems of “Hard Candy” and “Thumbsucker” had execs behind closed doors. And after a weekend that presented execs with highly anticipated fare from “Hustle & Flow” to “Matador,” Monday brought possibly the most hotly tipped pic outside “Hustle,” the Wes Anderson-produced “The Squid and the Whale.”

Other buzz pics skedded to screen Monday included “The Dying Gaul,” Kevin Bacon’s directorial effort “Loverboy” and Phil Morrison’s “Junebug.” Also still to come is Hal Hartley’s “The Girl From Monday.”

One of the fest’s most intriguing twists this year had financier and distrib ThinkFilm meeting with MTV and other outfits Monday to field co-distrib offers on the paraplegic rugby doc “Murderball.” Pic has emerged as one of the fest’s left-field hits.

Over at rival fest Slamdance, the confab’s opener “Mad Hot Ballroom” was expected to clinch a deal over the next few days, as a second screening in Park City was being held today .

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