Sundance 2012: Docs about struggling billionaires and a mysterious musician get pickup

The Queen of VersaillesTwo documentaries have been scooped up in snowless Park City as the Sundance Film Festival goes into high gear.

The Queen of Versailles (pictured), about a billionaire couple who are in the midst of building the nation’s largest single-family home — 90,000 square feet — when the financial markets collapsed in 2008, was acquired for North America by Magnolia Pictures.

The subjects of the movie, Jackie and David Siegel, took umbrage at festival guide descriptions of how badly the downturn hit Siegel’s time-share business, and David filed suit against filmmaker Lauren Greenfield and Sundance just prior to the festival. Curiously, however, Jackie Siegel still turned up for the premiere, which EW’s L.A. bureau chief Jon Barrett described as Real Housewives on steroids.

Magnolia, which distributed last year’s Sundance doc Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times, plans to release Versailles in the summer.

Meanwhile, the musical-mystery doc Searching For Sugar Man also found a home, landing with Sony Pictures Classics. The film is about two South African fans who go in search of a musician who known only as Rodriguez, who flopped decades ago but became a sensation in their country. Long believed dead, several bizarre myths surrounded the man, but the truth remained largely unknown. Sundance’s official guide described it as a story about “the greatest ’70s U.S. rock icon who never was.”

No release date was set.

On Twitter: @Breznican


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