Essays · Movies

Sundance Buzz: ‘The Wackness’ Could Get Purchased Today

Jonathan Levine’s awesome teen drug comedy could find a studio sugar daddy today. Or at least, that’s the rumor going around.
By  · Published on January 20th, 2008

One of the films that I have been buzzing all about so far at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is Jonathan Levine’s 1994-based teen drug comedy The Wackness. And last night as I took in a few press screenings, I overheard some chatter that it could be purchased quite soon, even today. Now, this is just a rumor, but you never know.

IndieWire is reporting that Execs from Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, Picturehouse, Miramax, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, Paramount Vantage, IFC Films and even Harvey Weinstein were at the premiere. I was there as well, but that is so much less significant.

Personally, my hope is that Fox Searchlight picks up Wackness, as it is best equipped to market such a film. This is the same company that brought us Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine and 2007 sensation Juno. And for those of you who think this doesn’t matter, and wonder why I am even blogging about it, it certainly does matter. There are plenty of people all over the country that won’t get a chance to see this great flick if the wrong company (*cough* Weinstein Company *cough*) lands the distribution rights.

Also, that is one of the biggest things about Sundance — this is where these films come to be purchased, in hopes of reaching a wide audience in the coming year. Some films, like Focus Features’ In Bruges and New Line’s Be Kind Rewind are just here to premiere, but are not here to be purchased. Films looking to be purchased are often self financed, or financed by smaller companies. They are then brought to Sundance and sold to the highest bidder. It seems odd, but millions of dollars every day are changing hands all around me — now, if only I could get my hands on some of that dough.

I will keep you updated on The Wackness, as it is one of the films I am following very closely this week.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the upcoming One Perfect Shot TV show (HBO Max, 2021) and the co-host of The Storm: A LOST Rewatch podcast. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)