BY CYNDI GREENING, PARK CITY, UTAH (CINEMA MINIMA) — Festival 2008 is full under sail and the acquisitions have begun. Given the Writer’s Strike and the possibility of a future with limited purchase options, there is some expectation that the mini-major studios and distributors such as Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia Pictures and IFC Films will heat up the buying at the festival.
UP THE YANGTZE was the first acquisition announced at the festival. The Three Gorges Dam, an enormous and hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic development, provides the backdrop for the film. Beautifully shot and edited, the film tells Yu Shui’s story. Among the two million losing their livelihood to the dam, the Yu family must send their daughter off to work.
HBO Documentary Films said it picked up THE BLACK LIST: VOLUME ONE. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders directed the movie which features interviews with black cultural figures and icons ranging from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Sean Combs to Colin Powell.
Of great personal interest to me is U2 3D. The film is a feature-length compilation of U2 concert footage shot using a new generation of digital 3D cinema technology in which the blue and red cardboard glasses of the earlier 3D films have been replaced by sleeker polarized black glasses. The film’s technology is the work of two companies: Burbank-based 3ality and Beverly Hills-based Real D. At the Sundance premiere, the film will be shown in Dolby 3D Digital Cinema.