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

DGA psycho docudrama CMT Pixar CBS TLC ABC crossover Holidays 24 frames binge 21st Century Fox Shondaland composers Rocky X-Men adaptation Western Toys Walt Disney Pictures Drama Certified Fresh supernatural USA Network thriller Red Carpet dragons elevated horror Comics on TV Animation Universal Dark Horse Comics DirecTV WGN DC Universe comic vampires E3 Freeform Marathons based on movie 2017 miniseries Writers Guild of America RT21 robots Nickelodeon Brie Larson VH1 sequel social media Disney Channel crime thriller travel green book Mindy Kaling political drama ratings mutant E! SXSW MCU MSNBC RT History hist Tumblr DC streaming service Interview facebook Star Trek Teen Fantasy dceu Premiere Dates The Arrangement FOX NYCC comiccon Acorn TV Comic Book APB SDCC Reality Adult Swim Super Bowl Warner Bros. Martial Arts spy thriller Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Countdown 20th Century Fox Watching Series Musicals Ellie Kemper Amazon Prime Epix Schedule Rom-Com crime Columbia Pictures Year in Review Spike natural history GLAAD Trailer YouTube Premium politics TBS Spectrum Originals witnail police drama doctor who justice league medical drama Sci-Fi Pirates Rock 2018 aliens cults Infographic IFC Films Stephen King dramedy anthology Starz Pop Awards Tour 45 Hulu AMC FXX Captain marvel Trivia Extras Ovation Anna Paquin Winter TV PaleyFest NBC Mary poppins Superheroes TCM First Look Oscars Valentine's Day psychological thriller blaxploitation TruTV Photos discovery finale historical drama Polls and Games harry potter Tomatazos Netflix Podcast nature Sundance Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Opinion Spring TV theme song Amazon Crackle teaser Lionsgate romance Comedy Central singing competition Awards Sony Pictures what to watch Quiz Cartoon Network richard e. Grant Action cinemax SundanceTV TNT ITV American Society of Cinematographers golden globes war Shudder TV 007 Disney YouTube Red Black Mirror cats Mudbound Star Wars Election Winners CW Seed OWN BBC America period drama television science fiction adventure YA crime drama Marvel DC Comics ABC Family Box Office President award winner Bravo CNN Lifetime Showtime Fall TV zero dark thirty Character Guide FX MTV HBO San Diego Comic-Con Song of Ice and Fire Cosplay Trophy Talk streaming Ghostbusters National Geographic 2016 The CW Lucasfilm History GIFs 2019 Reality Competition TIFF Sneak Peek serial killer jamie lee curtis Musical Women's History Month diversity Paramount Network mockumentary New York Comic Con casting Comedy Mary Tyler Moore LGBTQ Horror Nat Geo GoT VICE dc biography technology Pet Sematary Mary Poppins Returns Britbox Esquire zombie A&E anime IFC spider-man Summer Christmas sports cops Masterpiece Country transformers sitcom PBS Grammys Paramount ESPN Best and Worst 2015 El Rey Nominations USA Kids & Family BBC TCA true crime BET Set visit Sundance Now Biopics Syfy Superheroe TCA 2017 Mystery Apple Video Games TV Land CBS All Access festivals Emmys Thanksgiving unscripted cooking Creative Arts Emmys zombies boxoffice See It Skip It Calendar Logo Music talk show Fox News Food Network