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DreamWorks nabs rights to ‘Activity’

Studio acquires Oren Peli's haunted house film

DreamWorks has acquired all domestic and remake rights to Slamdance Fest entry “Paranormal Activity,” Oren Peli’s micro-budget hand-held haunted house pic.

The film likely will be released in the U.S. direct to DVD, but IM Global picked up all international rights; the pic will be included on its upcoming Berlin slate.

The two deals are pegged at nearly seven figures.

An Israeli émigré, Peli arrived in the United States at age 19 and pursued a career as a videogame programmer.

Peli shot the film over one week with a high-def camera in his own house with two unknown actors, Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat, who manned the camera much of the time.

According to producer Jason Blum, who took on “Paranormal Activity” after ScreamFest in October, DreamWorks won the bid by attaching Peli as director of the remake.

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Blum will produce, and Steven Schneider will executive produce the new film. DreamWorks’ Ashley Brucks will oversee the film and its remake for president of production Adam Goodman.

Two other Slamdance titles have also sold. U.S. distributor and international sales agent Neo Classics Films acquired teen horror pic “Crooked Lake,” which won the Slamdance Kodak Vision Award for best cinematography. Neo Classics plans a June release for the pic, which was written and directed by newcomers Sascha Drews, Matthew Miller and Ezra Krybus. “Crooked Lake” was produced by Nicholas Tabarrok and Jaty Tam, and Matthew Miller of Common Films. 

Magnolia Pictures bought U.S. rights to Matthiew Klink’s Easter comedy “Hank and Mike,” which stars co-writers Thomas Michael and Paolo Mancini, Chris Klein and Joe Mantegna. “Hank and Mike” is a co-production between Darius Films, Peeping Tom Films and Cirrus Communications.

CAA, which reps Peli, brokered the deals.