By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

SUNDANCE SELECTS TAKES NA RIGHTS TO RICHARD ROWLEY’S U.S. DOC COMPETITION TITLE DIRTY WARS AT SUNDANCE

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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About SUNDANCE SELECTS

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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“A lot of us felt blindsided,” Van Vliet told me. In the seventies, Van Vliet was drafted out of film school by Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now 62 and semi-retired, he said, “Once you get into your fifties, you’re pretty disposable.” Van Vliet was in the middle of reviewing DVD screeners before casting his Oscar votes, a process he estimated would take a hundred and twenty hours. “The Academy is essentially asking us to give them three weeks of labor, and then they’re going to take our results, put them into a ceremony, and sell it,” he said, referring to the seventy-five million dollars that the organization earns from the television broadcast. “Then they’re turning around and kicking us in the teeth.”
~ “Shakeup At The Oscars”

“Richard Schickel was a very perceptive critic and a wonderful writer and documentary filmmaker. As a person he was, to use a once popular term, ‘crusty,’ and he could be brutally funny. But it’s his deep and abiding love of movies that I’ll always remember about him. His early 70s PBS series ‘The Men Who Made the Movies,’ his 2004 restoration of Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One, his wonderful little book about ‘Double Indemnity,’ his biographies of Chaplin and Cary Grant… this is a man who gave his life to the thing he loved.”
~ Martin Scorsese