Sundance Channel funnels movies

Festival hands over titles to indie offspring

The Sundance Channel has scooped up a batch of titles from its namesake festival.

Topping the list is “Manda bala,” Jason Kohn’s nonfiction pic about modern-day Brazil that won the jury prize for North American doc at Park City this year. Also included is “Manufactured Landscapes,” the Zeitgeist release about the work of Canadian photog Edward Burtynsky.

Acquisition is part of net’s plan to buy more movies from the fest. Cabler bought suburban-sprawl doc “The Unforeseen” at the start of last year’s fest and in May acquired a batch of movies that included Sundance-fest docu faves “Zoo” and “War/Dance.”

While the missions of the fest and net are closely related, the channel must negotiate for rights just as every other network does.

Other titles included in the current purchase are Andrea Arnold’s critically praised debut “Red Road,” homosexuality doc “For the Bible Tells Me So” and Lauren Thierry’s “Autism Every Day,” as well as roughly 10 more titles.

Net has bought 20 movies from this year’s festival, up from the 12 it bought in 2005 but still lower than the 32 it picked up in 2006.

While the Sundance Channel is getting into more original programming, it hopes to maintain its level of about 200 movies acquired per year. The budgets and profiles of those films is likely to increase as other cable nets scale back their indie-pic acquisitions.

Also Tuesday, the cabler said that it would make available for sale on iTunes all episodes of “Sin City Law,” its skein about the Las Vegas criminal justice system from Denis Poncet and Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (“The Staircase”).

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