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'Pussy Riot,' 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' Sell at Sundance

The Associated Press, Sunday, January 20, 2013, 4:00pm (PST)

Billboard -- Add "Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer" to the music-centric documentaries sold at the Sundance Film Festival.

HBO Documentary Films acquired U.S. TV rights to the political documentary that received its world premiere Jan. 18. The film, directed and produced by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, is in the world cinema documentary competition.

The documentary covered the three women in the Russian feminist art collective who were arrested and prosecuted on charges of religious hatred after they performed a "punk prayer" inside a cathedral.

Also on Sunday, Wild Bunch picked up Morgan Neville's "Twenty Feet From Stardom" to sell it internationally and will be looking to take it to European film festivals with Cannes a chief target. "Twenty Feet From Stardom," which tells the stories of several prominent backup singers, sold on Thursday to Radius and the Weinstein Co. in one of the first deals at the festival.

"History of the Eagles, Part One"and "Part Two" are headed to Showtime on Feb. 15 and 16 and will be released on DVD as early as mid-March. Dave Grohl's "Sound City" arrived in Park City with its distribution set.

One more music documentary, "Mussel Shoals," remains on the market. Submarine Entertainment is handling sales for Greg Camalier's film about the Fame Studios in Alabama that defined Southern soul and the musicians who gave the music its unique texture. It premieres Jan. 26.

"Muscle Shoals" producer Stephen Badger told Billboard that beauty of Sundance that music films are always an important component of the festival and "that there's a feeling there's more than one story to tel.. A few other (films) might be positioned better, but we hope all the boats rise with the waves."

Related article on Billboard.com:

Dave Grohl's Sound City Players Tear It Up at Sundance

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Find more online: Billboard.com

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