The Next 'Blue Valentine' and Other Hits from Sundance 2011

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The Sundance Film Festival concluded on Sunday, ending 10 days of buzzed-about indie features and documentaries jockeying to be picked-up for distribution by industry studios. Stars like Kevin Spacey, Paul Rudd, Demi Moore, and Tobey Maguire joined unknown actors looking for big breaks in Park City to promote their films, which covered topics ranging from long-distance romance to worm-eating raccoons to the The New York Times' struggle to survive.

Created in part by Robert Redford, the festival has launched the careers of numerous filmmakers and actors over the years, creating hits out of films like The Blair Witch Project, Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine, and, most recently, Blue Valentine. Sundance has borne so many success stories that the way many of those who are covering the festival have reverted to explaining the current year's slate of films is by comparing them to hits from Festivals past—2011 Grand Jury Prize-winner Like Crazy is commonly being referred to as "This year's Blue Valentine," for example. So what were the biggest films to come out of Park City this year, and what past Sundance successes should they remind you of? We've broken it down for you:

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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