"Shorts Frenzy" at Sundance Thanks to Web Boom

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Park City, Utah. There's a new new thing here at Sundance 2000. Sure, major studios still clamber to pick up the few "buzz" features that don't already have distribution deals. But thanks to a bunch of dot-coms that have set up shop on Sundance's Main Street thoroughfare, this year there's also a burgeoning new market for previously neglected short films.

Atomfilms.com, one of the big forces in this shorts wave, is running its operation out of well-staffed Winnebago parked on the strip. Interviews and deals transpire on the RV's faux leopard-skin covered bed. "Last year, we were the only Internet company at Sundance to acquire a whole bunch of shorts," says Mika Salmi, Atom's Finnish founder and CEO. "This year, there are five other companies."