Two movies nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards, Boyhood and Whiplash, first premiered a year ago at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. As Sundance gets under way in 2015, buyers will be keeping a keen eye out for the newest indie films that may have Oscar potential. It won't just be traditional film studios looking to make purchases, digital players like Netflix and Amazon will also be on hand, scoping out potential projects for their online platforms. Going into the festival, some films have already been spoken for. Fox Searchlight picked up Noah Baumbach's Mistress America, which features frequent Baumbach collaborator Greta Gerwig. Alex Gibney's Scientology documentary, Going Clear, will run on HBO in March after premiering at Sundance. Gibney's film, in which Kim Masters appears as a talking head, is already stirring up controversy. The Church of Scientology has taken out a full page ad in the New York Times questioning the accuracy of the film.
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Best popular film category proves not so popular The Academy has put its plan to introduce a new category for best "popular" film on indefinite hold. It will go forward with presenting 6-8 awards during commercial breaks in order to streamline and shorten the TV broadcast of the ceremony.
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