We’re just a few days away from the start of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, but distributors are already scooping up films left and right. Three were acquired Tuesday and two were grabbed a few days ago. A&E IndieFilms picked up the rights to the Roger Corman documentary Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, Sony Pictures Classics locked up the rights to Take Shelter starring Michael Shannon, HBO Films nabbed the rights to the opening night documentary Project Nim (seen above) from the team behind the Oscar-winner Man on Wire, IFC Films got the low-budget comedy Uncle Kent and Roadside Attractions will release The Music Never Stopped starring J.K. Simmons.

Finally while it’s not playing at Sundance, Sundance Selects acquired Errol Morris’s latest called Tabloid. Read more about each film after the jump. Read More »

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The announcement of the movies playing the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is like looking into our film futures. It’s December and most movie fans are looking back at the last 12 months, picking out award winners, writing top ten lists, and chances are we haven’t even heard of the Sundance films. They’re just titles, people, words on a computer screen. Then in January they unspool on screens across Park City, Utah and become something more. Finally, months later, these are the movies we discuss with our friends and choose on ballots at awards parties. Yet we get to read about them now, a year in advance.

Last year at this time, who had heard of Four Lions, Catfish, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, Winter’s Bone, Restrepo or Animal Kingdom? Sundance, that’s who. All those films screened at the 2010 festival and now many have become not only personal favorites, but critical darlings and award contenders too.

Wednesday, Sundance announced the 58 films eligible for awards in four categories that will play the 2011 festival, taking place January 20-30. The 57 out-of-competition films in six additional categories will be announced Thursday. After the jump, we’ll give you the full list as well as highlight five in each category that sound particular promising. Read More »

uk-film-council-funded

Making a small film in the US means raising money by whatever means are necessary, but other countries actually support the arts. Crazy idea, right? I’m sure there are issues with how public arts funding is doled out in the UK, but I love the fact that small films from proven talent can get some public money to help them along. The UK Film Council recently released information on what films are receiving grants from the council this year, and there are some interesting details in the list.

Some of the projects — and the ones getting the most funding — are ones we already knew about, like Joe Cornish‘s Attack the Block and Mike Leigh‘s Another Year. But in the list of funded films there are also quite a few new projects or things that we’ve only heard rumblings about. Much more detail after the break. Read More »

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