Sundance buys Lionsgate package

Channel purchases 22 films, including classics

Lionsgate has sold a 22-title package of movies to the Sundance Channel, including network premieres such as “Starting Out in the Evening” and classic pictures directed by Akira Kurosawa, Luis Bunuel and Federico Fellini.

“We’ve become much more aggressive in buying movies in the last year,” said Christian Vesper, senior VP of acquisitions for Sundance Channel, citing last month’s deal with New Line/Picturehouse that included such titles as “La Vie en rose,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Little Children.”

Rand Stoll, exec VP of television for Lionsgate, said the new deal is “a continuation of our ongoing relationship with Sundance.”

Net is running two titles from a previous Lionsgate deal, “A Good Woman,” with Scarlett Johansson, and the documentary “Deliver Us From Evil.”

In addition to “Starting Out in the Evening,” Sundance will get the TV premiere of “Wristcutters: A Love Story,” starring Tom Waits; “Fierce People,” with Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland; and “Fido,” starring Billy Connolly. Sundance can start scheduling the movies later this year and then throughout 2009.

Library product in the Sundance deal includes the movie-industry satire “Swimming With Sharks,” “Metroland,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” “Eyes of Tammy Faye” and “Another Day in Paradise.”

The classics include Kurosawa’s “Ran,” Bunuel’s “Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria.”

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