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Sundance 2011: Searchlight and Magnolia make new acquisitions as festival deals pile up

January 26, 2011 | 10:50 am

Two more deals have gone down at the Sundance Film Festival, with Fox Searchlight making its third feature acquisition of the festival and Magnolia Pictures making its first.

Searchlight completed the hat trick by acquiring "Another Earth," Mike Cahill's story of a young MIT student who accidentally kills a family in a road accident. A source close to the deal who was not authorized to speak publicly about it said the purchase price was about $750,000, with no guaranteed marketing commitment.

Magnolia, meanwhile, has acquired "I Melt With You," Sundance veteran Mark Pellington's feature about a group of men who come to understand their complicated lives during a lost weekend. Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven star in the film, which has its world premiere Wednesday night at the festival.

The Magnolia deal means that nearly every major buyer has made a move at this year's independent-film gathering. Fox Searchlight, the Weinstein Co., IFC, Sony Pictures Classics, Lionsgate and Roadside have all bought rights to at least one Sundance film; Summit Entertainment and Focus Features are the two historically active film-festival buyers that have not yet made a purchase.

-- Steven Zeitchik in Park City, Utah

Photos: Clockwise from top left, Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe and Christian McKay in "I Melt With You." Credit: Magnolia Pictures