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Sundance deals: A super-slow start

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It’s nearly day 5 of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and only two movies — Marina Zenovich’s documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, and Elvis Mitchell and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ doc The Black List — have found buyers. That’s it.

Meanwhile, some of the most anticipated titles coming into the fest are still looking to be sold. Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened? hasn’t, apparently, lived up to its high expectations. And while Christine Jeffs’ Sunshine Cleaning has earned some pretty ardent fans, its story about two women who own a crime-scene-cleanup business could be seen by some as a tough sell (even if the two ladies in the movie happen to be Amy Adams and Emily Blunt). What has caught many buyers’ attention are the documentaries American Teen, from director Nanette Burstein, and Anvil! The True Story of Anvil, from director Sacha Gervasi. Sources tell the Hollywood Insider that American Teen is likely to sell before the end of Monday, though it’s unclear who will step up. As for Anvil, it received a standing ovation during Sunday’s screening at the Egyptian, but agents say that the studio subsidiaries are fearful of bringing docs home to their bosses, since so many of them performed dismally at the box office in 2007. Also, one source says that rumors are floating around that the strike may be resolved soon, so the possibility of studios gearing up production again on their own projects may make buyers even less eager to make new purchases.

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