After more than a week of high-profile premieres in the mountains of Utah, the Sundance Film Festival wraps up Sunday. This year's event crowned several breakout hits and under-the-radar sensations, offering a sneak peek at what appears to be a promising year ahead for independent film.
But that's the case each time Sundance rolls around. So what set the 2013 edition apart? The prolific buying. There were some major distribution deals scored at the festival, with movies starring everyone from Steve Carell to Amanda Seyfried earning upcoming theatrical releases.
These are some of the noteworthy developments that emerged this week:
1. The next 'Little Miss Sunshine'?
"The Way Way Back," a coming of age comedy starring Sam Rockwell and Steve Carell and about a teen's summer vacation, has been hailed as the second coming of "Little Miss Sunshine," one of the biggest hits in Sundance history. Look for the Fox Searchlight release this summer.
2. The word-of-mouth smash
Few movies wowed critics and audiences quite like "Fruitvale," a drama centered on the 2009 fatal shooting by San Francisco Bay Area transit officers of 22-year-old Oscar Grant. The Hollywood Reporter called it "a powerful dramatic feature film" and The Weinstein Company agreed. They'll release it soon.
3. Sex on screen
There was sex everywhere at Sundance this year. The most eagerly anticipated of the explicit flicks - the Linda Lovelace biopic "Lovelace" starring Amanda Seyfried - earned a mixed response. A division of The Weinstein Company will release it this fall.
4. Teen romance is in
"The Spectacular Now," starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, earned critical praise in the form of comparisons to classics like "Say Anything" and John Hughes flicks. Distributors A24 will release the film this summer.
5. The pic Disney might keep you from seeing
"Escape From Tomorrow" is a riveting psychological thriller that was illicitly filmed at Disney theme parks. We'd be surprised if the Mouse House lets this David Lynchian-story of a dad losing his mind at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot see the light of day.