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HBO takes ‘Black List’ at Sundance

Deal's terms not disclosed

As the hordes of buyers, sellers, optimists and cineastes descended on Park City on Thursday for the opening of Sundance 2008, buying was already under way as HBO Doc Films’ acquired “The Black List: Volume One.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The doc, a collaboration between photog-filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, features intimate interviews with contemporary African-American leaders and icons about their personal experiences and the larger societal repercussions of race.

Interviewed subjects include musician-actor Sean Combs, former basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tony-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and comedian Chris Rock.

A traveling photo exhibit, portrait book and multiplatform content that will be user-generated are set to accompany the doc. Greenfield-Sanders worked with HBO on the doc “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq,” which featured his photographs. The doc preems Tuesday at Sundance.

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Additionally, Celluloid Dreams has acquired international rights outside the U.S. for first-time helmer Lance Hammer’s “Ballast,” an entry in the fest’s dramatic competition. Set in the Mississippi delta, the pic looks at the aftermath of a man’s suicide on three people’s lives. “Ballast,” which is being repped by William Morris Independent for domestic and international rights, will also screen in the Berlin film fest.