SUNDANCE: A Buyer Hunts For "Penguins," "Camels"

by | January 25, 2006 | Comments

Adam Lepzig is on the lookout for marching penguins or weeping camels. More to the point, the president of National Geographic Feature Films is looking to acquire films that he feels would be a good fit for the company.
"I’m here to see the filmmakers, meet people, and acquire a movie that might be right for us," he said.

National Geographic scored a major coup when, at the 2005 Sundance fest, it partnered with Warner Independent Pictures to acquire "March of the Penguins," a commercial and critical hit last year, grossing $77 million in the U.S.

Lepzig said he attends a few festivals each year, including Sundance, Toronto and Berlin. But when he goes to a festival, he’s there for business first and foremost.

"I’m very judicious about what I choose to go to," he said. "I don’t do the party thing. I’m here to work.

"There are three Sundances," he said. There are the cinephiles, the dealmakers, and the partygoers. It’s hard to do all three at the same time."

It’s not uncommon to leave a festival without buying a film, Lepzig said. But some of the company’s acquisitions at festivals have paid off handsomely.

At the 2003 Toronto Film Festival National Geographic partnered with ThinkFilm to distribute "The Story of the Weeping Camel," a tale of nomadic shepherds who enlist the help of a musician to mend familial relations between one of their camels and her newborn calf.

Lepzig said he was very pleased with the performance of "Weeping Camel," a Mongolian language film that grossed $1.7 million at the U.S. box office.

However, what "March of the Penguins" achieved was beyond all expectations. National Geographic hoped it would do as well as "Winged Migration," another excellent French bird doc that grossed $11 million.
"We believed it could reach a wide audience," he said. "But we were all stunned. You can never predict these things."

Check out Sundance features by Rotten Tomatoes:
Sundance Full Coverage
Sundance Blog
Sundance Discussion"

Tag Cloud

ABC Nickelodeon 24 frames Sci-Fi A&E Comedy ITV Showtime travel GoT Toys Fox News Mary Tyler Moore adventure 2015 singing competition Cosplay GIFs Disney aliens Exclusive Video SDCC Certified Fresh Nat Geo Trivia comiccon Calendar Musicals crime HBO Dark Horse Comics Summer TBS TruTV E! Superheroes TV Land Opinion cooking discovery crime thriller IFC ESPN History Pop American Society of Cinematographers Spring TV Universal LGBTQ CBS All Access TLC El Rey Reality Competition Teen Food Network President OWN Netflix FOX diversity Rom-Com VH1 Martial Arts Watching Series Comic Book Horror The Arrangement Crackle politics Countdown Reality Drama TCA 2017 Infographic PBS Thanksgiving supernatural Tumblr Animation Oscars Marathons DirecTV Esquire TCA X-Men Rock Extras Marvel CNN NYCC NBC Fantasy Photos BBC America FX Masterpiece docudrama Valentine's Day Writers Guild of America ABC Family boxoffice cops Premiere Dates Ghostbusters Winners BBC war Polls and Games Trailer Emmys AMC USA Podcast cinemax harry potter TV Schedule VICE TIFF technology SundanceTV Action Interview based on movie BET Lifetime Mystery The CW CBS Awards Comedy Central Kids & Family Rocky Hulu Holidays 2017 sports 2016 Starz PaleyFest Tomatazos Sundance Country science fiction TCM police drama social media thriller Box Office Winter TV Biopics Year in Review RT History Character Guide dramedy Grammys WGN serial killer Freeform crime drama 007 psycho Nominations DC Comics vampires Red Carpet Logo Star Trek Syfy TNT Lionsgate Music MSNBC MTV Election Video Games Star Wars Super Bowl Sneak Peek FXX Adult Swim Best and Worst Amazon zombie Cartoon Network APB Set visit sitcom biography period drama Bravo Fall TV Pirates CMT First Look Disney Channel GLAAD