Rows of seats in a movie theater
Rows of seats in a movie theater - 
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Scott Jagow: The film business takes over Park City, Utah, today -- yes, it's time once again for the Sundance Film Festival.

There's always drama at Sundance, but this year, the plot is really thick. Here's Lisa Napoli.

Lisa Napoli: Movie executives flock to Sundance in search of the next big thing, checkbooks in hand, and stress levels high. This year, they've got the writer's strike on their minds.

John Horn: You have film distributors anxious whether they're going to have open slots come a year from now.

That's John Horn -- he covers the movie industry for the L.A. Times. He says the prospect of a prolonged Hollywood strike is putting even more pressure on buyers. And that could mean big money for movies at the heady, high-altitude Sundance.

Horn: And so you get these bidding wars where people are chasing movies that, if they played at sea level without 50 other buyers in the room, might not be getting the numbers they're getting.

That doesn't mean everybody who gets into the festival leaves with a deal. Only a fraction of the more than 200 films screened are likely to be bought. That's show biz.

In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.