By Ray Pride


PARK CITY, UT (January 20, 2013) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival that the company is acquiring North American rights to Richard Rowley’s DIRTY WARS, which premiered in the U.S. documentary competition section. The film, with a screenplay by Jeremy Scahill and David Riker, was produced by Anthony Arnove, Brenda Coughlin, and Scahill.

Rowley’s film follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill on an unexpected journey as he chases down the truth behind America’s covert wars.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects-IFC Films, said: “Our entire team was blown away by DIRTY WARS, Richard Rowley’s tough-minded, gripping film that plays out like a detective story.  Jeremy Scahill’s investigation into the war on terror being waged around the world is a vital, disturbing and incredibly humane story that will have people on both sides of the political spectrum talking.  We look forward to working with Richard, Jeremy, David Riker, Brenda Coughlin, Anthony Arnove and the entire team behind the film in bringing this film to the largest public audience, as well as sparking a discussion on the topic.”

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Sundance Selects family,” said director Richard Rowley. Added Scahill: “We made this film to uncover the hidden truth about wars being fought in our name that we as Americans know next to nothing about, and we can’t think of a better partner to do this with than Sundance Selects.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films; Jeff Deutchman, Director of Acquisitions & Productions, for Sundance Selects/IFC Films; and Betsy Rodgers, Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with Josh Braun at Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

This is the second documentary acquired out of Sundance this week by Sundance Selects.  The company also acquired North American rights to Nick Ryan’s THE SUMMIT.

Since the company’s inception in 2009, Sundance Selects has quickly established itself as one of the dominant labels for documentary films.  Among the films the company has released are this year’s Academy Award-nominated HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE directed by David France (an acquisition title out of Sundance 2012) and Alison Klayman’s AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY (another acquisition title out of Sundance in 2012); Cindy Meehl’s BUCK; Wim Wenders’ Academy Award nominated PINA; Werner Herzog’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS; Bess Kargman’s FIRST POSITION; and Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK.

Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

DIRTY WARS was made possible by generous support from Bertha / BRITDOC, The Bertha Foundation, Kindle Project Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation, Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, Vital Projects Fund, and Wallace Global Fund.

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Established in 2009 and based in New York City, Sundance Selects is a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films focusing on American independents, documentaries and world cinema. Upcoming films include Cristian Mungiu’s double Cannes Prize winner BEYOND THE HILLS, which is Romania’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2013 Academy Awards, Abbas Kiarostami’s LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE, and Adam Leon’s SXSW winner GIMME THE LOOT.  Previous releases include Ken Burns, Sarah Burns & David McMahon’s CENTRAL PARK FIVE, David France’s HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, Alison Klayman’s AI WEIWEI:  NEVER SORRY, Wim Wenders’ Oscar nominated PINA, Werner Herzog’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, Cindy Meehl’s BUCK, Abbas Kiarostami’s CERTIFIED COPY and the Dardennes Brothers THE KID WITH ABIKE. Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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“The eye solicited alone makes the ear impatient, the ear solicited alone makes the eye impatient. Use these impatiences. Power of the cinematographer who appeals to the two senses in a governable way. Against the tactics of speed, of noise, set tactics of slowness, of silence.”
Robert Bresson

“I used to always think that was something low-budget films could use more of — a sense of geography — and now I even think it’s big-budget movies. So often when I see a movie, I don’t know where I am and I can’t quite follow — because the pacing is always so quick, and it’s a lot of long lenses and constantly editing where you’re changing the shot. There’s something refreshing for me about looking down the street and seeing a character and panning all the way over and seeing the other character and go, okay, I know where everybody is. Now when I cut to the other character, I wonder what the other person is doing because I know where he is. I know he’s around the corner because they just showed me that, and it creates not only a sense of geography logically in the movie, but it makes the movie larger than the screen. It makes you think about it and it creates suspense. We used to be really good about that, but [with] the ADD-ness of people now, we’re always moving the plot along so fast, you don’t get a sense of where you are and where everybody is and that’s doing a disservice to movies.”
~ Ti West On What More Movies Need

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