This was Winston Baker's first year at Sundance

The festival was electrifying and the weather was perfect. Deals were being negotiated until morning hours. Diversity was celebrated through so many amazing films such as “Clemency,” “Late Night” and “The Farewell.” And we were lucky enough to get a front row seat as Alfre Woodard was honored by The Creative Coalition for her work in empowering the arts.

More highlights:

“The Era of Mega-Deals has Returned”

It’s a seller’s market again. Mindy Kaling’s comedy “Late Night” scored a $13 million pact for U.S. rights, Adam Driver’s political thriller “The Report” earned a $14 million global deal, and “Blinded by the Light,” a love letter to Bruce Springsteen, racked up a $15 million worldwide payday. The eye-popping deals are surprising, because studios had been more conservative in recent years, having been burned by the likes of “The Birth of a Nation” and “Patti Cake$,” which took Sundance by storm only to crash on the shoals of public indifference when they hit theaters. (SOURCE: Variety)

“Women Dominated this Year’s Competition”

For the first time in history, Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition is dominated by women, with 53% of the entries. Promising entries from women directors this year include the aforementioned “The Farewell,” Pippa Bianco’s “Share,” and “To the Stars,” an Oklahoma-set period piece from Martha Stephens, whose “Land Ho!” was a NEXT breakout. But one female-directed competition entry will be generating a lot of attention right out of the gate…and its name is “Honey Boy.” (SOURCE: IndieWire)

“Amazon is Back”

The streaming giant scored with its statement-making purchases of “Late Night” and “The Report,” two films it believes can deliver with critics and at the box office. It was also in the mix for “Blinded by the Light” and the Awkwafina comedy “The Farewell,” showing a fresh aggressiveness on the acquisitions front after largely sitting out the all-night bidding wars in Toronto and Cannes. (SOURCE: Variety)

“The 10 Best Movies of this Year’s Festival were…”

- “Apollo 11”
- “Clemency”
- “The Farewell”
- “Honey Boy”
- “Knock Down the House”
- “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
- “Leaving Neverland, Midnight Family”
- “The Nightingale”
- “The Souvenir”

(SOURCE: Rolling Stone)

“Movies that Could Become Oscar Contenders are…”

- “The Report”
- “Late Night”
- “The Farewell”
- “Clemency”
- “Honey Boy”
- “Luce”

(SOURCE: The New York Times)

If you missed Park City this year
(and don’t plan to be in Berlin)…

Then join Winston Baker in Los Angeles on February 27th for the Entertainment Finance Forum to hear from companies behind the festival’s hottest films including ‘Honey Boy’, ‘Mike Wallace is Here’, ‘Ask Dr. Ruth’, ‘The Boy who Harnessed the Wind’, ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’, ‘Ms. Purple’, ‘Late Night’, ‘Official Secrets’, ‘Greener Grass’, ‘The Mountain’, and more!

Register here.