Germany's Senator Film has become the first international distributor to sign up to the highly anticipated package of studio-level films being put together by former Disney chief Joe Roth. The five-year deal initially gives Senator all media rights in all German-speaking territories. It is promised a minimum of six films per year with budgets in the $10m-$100m range. Julia Roberts has a non-exclusive deal with Roth to star in three of the films over the next five years. The first film to be delivered under the deal will be $10m-$20m comedy Tomcats.
The UK's J&M Entertainment has boarded four titles including Cloudstreet, an adaptation of the Australian best-seller for which Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis, Anna Paquin and Heath Ledger are in talks to star. Peter Duncan (Children Of The Revolution) is to direct. J&M is also handling $8m UK comedy Guns, Money & Homecooking; Wild Horses, which Marc and Peter Samuelson will produce; and Mark Rydell direct from a script by Karen O'Toole, and low-budget UK drama Small Time Obsession.
Momentum Pictures, the UK joint venture of Canada's Alliance Atlantis and Germany's Kinowelt, has confirmed it has picked up The Adventures Of Rocky & Bullwinkle and O Brother, Where Art Thou? for the UK.
TF1 International has picked up Sans Titre (Untitled) a second film by Jean-Francois Richet (Ma Cite Va Craquer) which stars Virginie Ledoyen. The revenge tale, produced by Why Not Productions - the producers of Arnaud Desplechin's main competition title Esther Kahn - is currently in post-production and will be distributed in France by Bac Films.
Sogepaq, the rights and acquisitions arm of Spanish media group Sogecable, has picked up world rights on Fugitivas, a feature film currently in production at Seville-based Maestranza Films. Sogepaq is also understood to be negotiating international rights on Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo Del Diablo), a Tequila Gang/El Deseo co-production to which Sogepaq sister outlet Warner Sogefilms owns rights in Spain.
UK-based Capitol Films has sold its Cannes competition film A One And A Two to Diaphana for France. Capitol has also acquired international rights to the $20m Deuces Wild from The Basketball Diaries director Scott Kalvert. The Martin Scorsese executive-produced period gang story re-unites Capitol with MGM, the US studio that is also handling US on Capitol's Ghost World. Before Capitol came aboard, MGM had sold German, UK and Benelux rights to VCL. Capitol has also sold Ghost World to Germany's Advanced and Italy's Key Films
Lions Gate Film International has acquired worldwide rights to Too Smooth, a comedy starring and directed by Dean Paras. Paras also stars with Neve Campbell, her brother Christian Campbell, Katie Wright and Rebecca Gayheart. Paras also executive produced with cast members the Campbells and Wright.
Kushner-Locke International has sold its James Toback-directed thriller Harvard Man starring Sarah Michelle Gellar to Metropolitan Filmexport in France, KirchMedia in Germany and eastern Europe, RCV in Benelux and Filmax in Spain.
IFM Film Associates has acquired worldwide sales rights to two new pictures - revenge thriller Sweet Revenge starring Richard Grieco and Brigitte Bako which started shooting in Western Canada this week and Dead Evidence starring Kevin Smith which will start shooting in Auckland, New Zealand, on June 15. Dead Evidence is one of two pictures produced by New Zealand's South Pacific Pictures which IFM has acquired. The other, also starring Kevin Smith is called Beyond Justice.
Hilltop Entertainment has sold North American rights to its action thriller Ignition starring Bill Pullman and Lena Olin to Lions Gate Films, and has boarded Andrei Konchalevsky's The Royal Way - a movie which has been on the market for nine years and finally looks set to start shooting in October.
Fine Line Features has confirmed it will take North American rights to three titles from Denmark's Zentropa Internationale which are being co-financed by German film giant Kinowelt: sci-fi picture Last Born, to be directed by Denmark's Niels Arden, Moments Of Clarity, written by newcomer Mikael Colville Andersen, and an adaptation of Jostein Gaarder's Through A Glass Darkly from hot Danish director Susanne Bier.
In an innovative use of UK financing structures worth an estimated $149m in tax write-offs, recently-formed London financing house Future Film Group has acquired all UK rights to a 14-strong slate to be released through its partnership with distributor Metrodome Distribution. The package includes two titles from LA-based sales and production outfit Hilltop Entertainment that are currently in production - Kevin Of The North and Ignition.
Meanwhile, Hilltop has cut a deal with France's TF1 to represent worldwide rights on French-language comedy Jet Set directed by Fabien Ontieniente and starring Lambert Wilson, Ornella Muti, Ariadna Gil and Samuel Le Bihan. The deal is unusual in that not only does it bypass TF1's own sales operation but gives Hilltop remake rights to the populist film
Lolafilms UK has sold Girl From Rio to UK distributor Redbus Film Distribution for the UK. Kinowelt has the picture for Germany, Switzerland and Eastern Europe, while Lolafilms will release the picture, currently in post, in Spain in the autumn. Lolafilms has also sold John Malkovich's directorial debut, The Dancer Upstairs to Mexican distributor Nu Vision for all of Latin America. The film will be handled by a group of distributors put together by Los Angeles-based buyers rep ABLO including Art Films & Filmark for Brazil and Eurocine in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Recapitalised Italian distributor Eagle Pictures has sealed another package of pictures - with Seven Arts International - to go with the two picture deal with Summit and a three picture deal with Intermedia which it concluded at AFM. Eagle has taken theatrical rights to seven movies from Seven Arts including Rules Of Engagement, A Shot At Glory, Cletis Tout, Shadow Hours, Interstate 60, Morton Orwell and The Descent.
Germany's Atlas International has picked up world sales rights to a trio of new films including Constantin-produced Der Grosse Bagarozzy, now renamed The Devil And Ms D, Bunnyguards (aka Ercan & Stefan), co-produced by Hofman & Vosges and Constantin and Star Force, a US sci-fi production from the same stable that delivered one of Atlas' previous hits LA Wars.
US distributor Strand Releasing has acquired two titles from Australia's Southern Star Film Sales which it plans to release in New York in June. John Curran's Praise will open at New York's Screening Room on June 30 while Craig Monahan's The Interview opens at The Cinema Guild on June 16. Meanwhile, Southern Star has sold free-to-air television rights for Germany to both titles to ZDF.
Artist View Entertainment has acquired international rights to comedy Luminarias which is being released theatrically in the US on a regional basis under the aegis of Kit Parker. Starring Scott Bakula and Cheech Marin, the movie revolves around four women from east Los Angeles who share secrets on their careers, love and family The film is directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela.
CLT-Ufa is understood to have acquired French and Eastern European rights to Martin Scorsese's $100m historical opus, Gangs Of New York starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, as well as French and Benelux's rights to Robert Altman's upcoming Doctor T And The Women headling Richard Gere, both from IEG. The twin acquisitions will help feed CLT Ufa's fledgling European distribution network, which is currently made up of SND in France, Belga in Benelux and Intercom in Eastern Europe.
French distributor Pretty Pictures has acquired all French rights to award-winning title Tuvalu, a first effort by German director Veit Helmer. The offbeat, surreal, comedy stars French actor Denis Lavant (Les Amants Du Pont Neuf ) and more recently Claire Denis' Beau Travail) and Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova. It has been sold in more than 20 territories and was picked up at script stage by Buena Vista for Germany.
CLT-Ufa has sold Jennifer Tilly and William Hurt starring thriller Do Not Disturb to a raft of territories including the US, where Lions Gate has taken the picture, the Netherlands (Buena Vista), Italy (Eagle) Scandinavia (CCV), Greece (Prooptiki), Spain (Tripictures) and Mexico (Gussi). It will be handled in France through CLT-Ufa associate SND.
Bob Aaaronson, the new acquisition chief for CanWest Films, has made his first purchase for the fledgling US distribution company, picking up North American rights to Ben Hopkins' debut feature Simon Magus. Aaronson, who was previously an acquisitions executive for both New Line/Fine Line and 20th Century Fox before becoming an independent producer, has been named vice-president of acquistions and co-productions for CanWest Films.
M6 DA, the international sales arm of the French free-TV broadcaster, has picked-up Ferocious (Feroce) which toplines Sami Naceri, the star of hit French title Taxi 2. The political thriller, directed by Emmy Award-winning documentary film-maker Gilles de Maistre, who is also producing through his Tetra Media production house, is currently in post production.
Media Trade has acquired Italian-speaking rights for Dungeons & Dragons, the Sweetpea Entertainment and Silver Pictures fantasy adventure being sold internationally by the UK's J&M Entertainment. J&M has also sold UK rights to comedy thriller Bodywork to David Wilkinson's Guerilla Films.
Filmgroup, the recently renamed parent of distributor Redbus Film Distribution, has picked up UK rights to Under Suspicion, starring Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman. The action thriller, which joins Lolafilms' Girl From Rio in the acquisitive distributors' Cannes shopping basket, was bought from France's TF1. Filmgroup has also picked up rights to a 20-title package of films from the US' Seven Arts International. The bulk of the deal is for video-on-demand and pay-per-view rights, although filmgroup has taken all rights to two titles about to go into production - the $20m Cletis Tout, starring Christian Slater and Tim Allen, and the $15m Interstate 60, written and directed by Back To The Future writer Bob Gale.
Yoram Pelman's Tomorrow Film Corp has closed a deal with 20th Century Fox on its cop thriller Double Bang for TV in Latin America and pay-TV in Germany, the UK and Australia. In addition Eagle Pictures has taken all rights in Italy and Telecinco has taken all rights in Spain. The movie, which starts shooting on June 19 in Los Angeles, is written and to be directed by Heywood Gould whose credits include Trial by Jury and One Good Cop.
David Linde's Good Machine International has closed a slew of deals on Jodie Foster's next directorial picture Flora Plum starring Russell Crowe and Clare Danes. Entertainment Film Distributors will take the picture in the UK, Bac Films in France, LaurenFilm in Spain and Paradiso in Benelux. The film, which was set up by and will be distributed domestically by USA Films, has also gone to Vision in Poland, Discovery in ex-Yugoslavia, AIPI in Bulgaria, Prisvideo/Ecofilmes in Portugal, Rosebud in Greece, Italia Film in Middle East, Associated Euromedia in Turkey and Skifan in Iceland.
Spyglass Entertainment has sold rights in continental Europe to Leon Gast's untitled basketball documentary to StudioCanal, marking another deal in the ongoing relationship between Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum's Hollywood production and the French major. The film is a history of basketball and marks Gast's follow-up to Oscar-winning boxing documentary When We Were Kings.
Prescription Films has acquired sales rights to documentary Red Rain about Gina "Boom-Boom" Guidi, the 0IFBA Junior Middleweight Female Boxing Champion of the World. Tucson, Arizona-based video distributor Ariztical has bought domestic video rights to the film which will be added to its library of gay and lesbian themed titles.
Overseas FilmGroup has accquired worldwide sales rights to Greenfingers, the UK comedy written and directed by Joel Hershman, produced by Travis Swords and executive produced by Trudie Styler (Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels). Helen Mirren, Clive Owen and David Kelly star in the UK-set story of a group of jailed convicts with a passion for horticulture. Overseas has also boarded Raving Beauties, a story about a seaside town's beauty competition from Gruber Films, the UK production outfit behind Waking Ned and Shooting Fish.
Neil Friedman's Menemsha Entertainment has acquired international rights to Famous, the digital video mockumentary directed by Griffin Dunne which screens in Un Certain Regard on Monday. Friedman has also taken worldwide rights on The Other Conquest, Salvador Carrasco's Mexican hit which was recently released in select US cities by new US Latino distribution company Hombre De Oro run by former New Line marketing and distribution president Mitch Goldman and Lou O'Neil. Transcontinental Film in Italy has picked up The Other Conquest.
Roadshow Film Distributors has acquired Australian rights to local film The Dish, the highly anticipated follow-up to The Castle, which grossed more than A$10m in Australia and was bought for North America by Miramax. Roadshow acquired the comedy directly from the Melbourne-based production company, Working Dog, which staged a series of preview screenings in the US earlier this year.
Germany's number three cable network operator Primacom has scooped up a package of rights to 43 features. The films, bought from Telepool, Kinowelt and TeleMuenchen, are set for video-on-demand (VoD) and pay-per-view (PPV) screenings. The non-exclusive deals, said to be worth a total of $500,000 (DM1m), include Crash, The Winter Guest and The Spanish Prisoner.
UK-based sales house Vine International has boarded Plotz With A View, a romantic comedy being produced through the UK's Spice Factory and Los Angeles-based Snowfall Films. Nick Hurran, whose credits include Girls Night, is to direct, and Brenda Blethyn, co-star of Secrets And Lies, is in talks to star. The film revolves around two competing funeral homes.
Oslo-based BV International Pictures has sold its A Witch In The Family to Atlas Entertainment for German-language territories. Witch was part of a four-film package sold to Taiwan's Central Motion Picture Corp. Others were Missing Link, Passing Darkness and In Bed With Santa. Another Taiwan distributor, Scholar, bought BV's Weekend.
Gaga Communications has taken Japan and Kirch Media has taken Germany on Trimark Pictures International's Skipped Parts, which had its premiere market screening yesterday and screens again today. The movie stars Jennifer Jason Leigh who is in Cannes attending the festival screening of The King Is Alive.
France Television Distribution Entreprise (FTDE) - the home video and publishing arm of France Television Distribution - has acquired French home video rights to Gerard Corbiau's Le Roi Danse (The King Is Dancing), from TF1 International. The historical drama is produced by KStar's Dominique Jamme - who also produced Corbiau's Farinelli and Le Maitre De Musique - and stars Benoit Magimel and Tcheky Karyo. Production started in April in Versailles and Cologne.
Annex Entertainment has picked up rights to Silver Man, a love story about a world-travelled musician who risks his life to find love. A Trinity Pictures production in association with Persistent Pictures, Silver Man is directed by Peter Foldy and stars Paul Popowich, Joe Pantoliano, Eugene Levy, Daniel Baldwin and Louise Fletcher.
Creative Light Worldwide has picked up rights to Just For The Time Being starring Victoria's Secret supermodel Eva Herzigova. The film marks the writing and directing debut of Gil Brenton and the first English language acting role for Herzigova, who plays a beautiful but emotionally damaged woman who becomes involved in a love triangle with an estranged father and son.
Good Machine International (GMI) will handle international sales on DreamWorks' Shirley Barrett comedy Walk The Talk. 20th Century Fox has acquired Australian rights to the film, produced by Jan Chapman (The Piano, Holy Smoke), directly from DreamWorks.
The UK's FilmFour has sold Our Lucky Break, Peter Cattaneo's follow-up toThe Full Monty, to Miramax Films and Paramount for North America and Australia/New Zealand. The two US studios will jointly release the film in North America, while FilmFour will distribute in the UK.
MGM has acquired Japanese rights to Franchise Pictures' hit comedy The Whole Nine Yards in an unusual single territory acquisition for the studio which from November will distribute all its pictures internationally through 20th Century Fox. Directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, The Whole Nine Yards grossed $57m on its domestic release through Warner Bros.
Miramax Films has acquired US and English-speaking Canadian rights Harry, A Friend Who Wishes You Well, the French murder mystery that has become a fast seller for Mercure Distribution. Remake rights were also optioned. Other distributors which have bought the film here include Telemuenchen/Concorde for Germany, Key Films for Italy, Vertigo for Spain, Sam Films for Scandinavia, Dae Sung for Korea, Alliance for French-speaking Canada, Cinelibre/A-Films for Benelux, Shani Films for Israel and Prooptiki for Greece.
French distributor Ocean Films has picked up Hong Kong film-maker Johnny To's award-winning title, The Mission.
Australian head of Buena Vista International, Alan Finney, has snapped up local rights to Vincent Giarrusso's Directors' Fortnight film Mallboy after getting a sneak preview in Melbourne on the eve of the creative team boarding a plane for Cannes. The film was funded under the now defunct Million $ Movie scheme between the Australian Film Commission and SBS Independent. Beyond Films automatically gets world sales rights to films made under the scheme.
Lions Gate Films International has sold its horror black comedy Ginger Snaps to Telemunchen in Germany, Gaga Communications in Japan, TF1 in France, RocVale in Australia, Grupo Planeta in Spain, Woo Sung Cinema of South Korea and Imagem Films of Brazil.
Raicinema has acquired Italian rights to large-scale Euro animation picture Help! I'm A Fish from UK-based sales company HanWay, a move that may turn out to be the debut acquisition for Raicinema's potential theatrical distribution arm. Raicinema, which this week re-iterated that it is strongly considering a move into theatrical distribution, is to release the picture jointly with Italy's Dall'Angelo, a theatrical distributor specialising in animation.
Winstar TV & Video has picked up world sales activities on Kurosawa, a major documentary on the life of acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa, who died in 1998. Winstar's associate division Winstar TV & Video has joined as co-producer on the project which is being set up by 13/WNET New York, NHK and BBC Arena. Winstar Cinema will also give the picture a US theatrical release ahead of a broadcast on PBS. The company's theatrical releasing arm Winstar Cinema has acquired US rights to French-language film Drole De Felix from Flach Pyramide International. The story of a gay Arab man who travels to Marseilles to meet the father he never knew, Drole De Felix was directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau and stars Sami Bouajila.
Motion Planet Productions has picked up all rights in Indonesia and Malaysia to Screenland Drive and Consequence, two films from one year-old Los Angeles-based production and distribution company Prescription Films. Motion Planet also bought Bug Wars for Malaysia.
Artist View Entertainment has acquired five new titles from film-maker Serge Rodnunsky and Rojak Films including Hitmen set to star Tommy Lee McCafferty, Split Intent featuring Michelle Rene Jordan, erotic thriller Voyeur.com and suspense thriller Delusional.
UK-based The Film Company (TFC) has closed deals on its Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense to Spain (Cine Company); Brazil (Providence Films); and Poland (Tantrum). TFC, the theatrical arm of sales company High Point and The Film Company Group, has also sold Thicker Than Water to Dutch Film Works for Benelux. Additionally, Gravesend has gone to Fox 8 Holland and Zombie Dawn Of The Dead has sold to FIP Scandinavia.
Distributor Sharmill Films has picked up Australian rights to the Paul Cox film Innocence from Cinemavault.com. Sharmill principal Natalie Miller expects to release it on about 20 prints either before the Olympics, which are being held in Sydney, or over Christmas. Despite her long friendship with the filmmaker, this is her first Cox film although she signed for Nijinsky, the film which is currently in production.
Atlas International has scored a raft of sales on teen comedy Ants In The Pants (Harte Jungs), Regina Ziegler's three latest Erotic Tales and its US sci-fi action picture Star Force. Ants has been sold to Eurocine for Argentina, Asia Film for Peru, Bolivia and Colombia, Top Rank for India, Ani Movie Entertainment for South Korea, Suraya for Sinagpore and Big Film for Hong Kong and Taiwan. Meanwhile Atlas obtained a theatrical release in Germany for the three Erotic tales through Nighthawks, and sold the collection to Free Subramanian for India and Markiza for the Slovak Republic. Star Force has been sold to Beirut's Eagle Films for the Middle East, Dae Sung for South Korea and Suraya for Singapore.
Promark Entertainment has struck a six to eight picture deal with Italian distributor Andrea Leone Film. The deal covers Promark's $6m Luke Perry-starrer The Enemy, which is now shooting in Luxembourg, as well as The Stick Up, Styx, The Hot Zone, One Way Out, Death In Texas and Contaminated Man.
Roberto Di Girolamo's Filmexport Group has struck a five picture deal with Japanese distributor World Television. Titles covered by the accord are Transgressing, Wasteland, Look At Me, Maneater and The Body Of The Soul. World takes theatrical, TV and video rights. Di Girolamo says Wasteland is attracting strong interest and that he is poised to close deals in Spain, Korea and Japan.
Hong Kong-based China Star Entertainment Group has finalised a US$30m three-year output deal with pay-TV provider Star TV for 100 films to be produced under its One Hundred Years Of Films production banner. Star is taking pay-TV rights for Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan on the titles. About a dozen directors have signed to make films including Ringo Lam, Gordon Chan, and Johnny To.
Lions Gate Films has secured North American rights on Ken Loach's competition film Bread And Roses from UK sales house The Sales Co. Several other companies were circling the Los Angeles-set tale of striking janitors, but Lions Gate's Tom Ortenberg and Mark Urman clinched the deal through the company's distribution experience and the enthusiasm of Ortenberg, a former political activist. The Sales Co has also sold the film to Cinequanon for Japan, Ster-Kinekor for South Africa, Spring Cinema for Taiwan and Haskolabio for Iceland.
The UK's Pathe Distribution has acquired all UK rights to Granada Film's gangster thriller Essex Boys, Pathe's distribution chief Maj-Britt Kirchner announced. The film stars Sean Bean, Alex Kingston, Charlie Creed Miles and Tom Wilkinson. Pathe has scheduled the picture for release in July.
REP has bought Karyn Kusama's Girlfight from United Artists Films (UAF) for Australia and New Zealand. REP head Mark Gooder was spurred on by Screen Gems' acquisition of the film for the US and expects to release it before the end of the year. Gooder already has a relationship with UAF as sister company Dendy Films recently released All About My Mother which has achieved A$1m box office and rising in Australia.
Le Studio Canal Plus' classics division Wild Bunch has been enjoying brisk sales on Directors' Fortnight title Summer aka 27 Missing Kisses, by Oscar-nominated Georgian film-maker Nana Djordjadze (A Chief In Love). The film has already been sold to Italy (Academie), Scandinavia (Buena Vista) Benelux (Paradiso) and Russia (Permier Films) as well as to most Asian territories, including Japan (Comstock), Korea (Media Film International), Taiwan (New Action) and Hong Kong (Golden Screen).
The Sundance Channel has acquired US TV rights to Five Feet High And Rising, the 29-minute short film which is in official selection in Cannes and which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Best Short Film award. The film is written and directed by Peter Sollett and produced and edited by Eva Vives. Canal Plus France, Canal Plus Spain and Channel Four in the UK have also acquired the title.
James Ivory's Cannes competition title The Golden Bowl, which is being sold by TF1 International, has been acquired by French arthouse distributor Films Sans Frontieres in the run up to the festival. The company intends to give the film a 150-print outing, the largest Galeshka Moravioff's 18 year-old company has ever handled.
Newvision has picked up Australian and New Zealand rights to Dominik Moll's competition title Harry, A Friend Who Wishes You Well from Paris-based Mercure Distribution.
Spanish distributor Alta Films has picked up all rights for Spain on four hot titles in the Cannes market: Stephen Frears' Liam, now in pre-production, and Milcho Manchevski's Dust, starring Joseph Fiennes, from The Sales Co, Alan Rudolph's Investigating Sex, which begins shooting next week, from UGC and Suspicious River from Beyond Films.
Miramax International has already sold Heaven, set to star Cate Blanchett, to Asmik Ace for Japan, Lauren Films for Spain and Village Roadshow for Greece, despite only unveiling the project recently. Asmik, Lauren and Village Roadshow Greece also bought Bounce from Miramax. Lauren also took John Cusack starrer Serendipity. Meanwhile Highlight bought Bounce, Serendipity and Wakin Up In Reno for Germany and Concorde bought Giuseppe Tornatore's Malena; Ster-Kinekor bought eight films for South Africa including Spy Kids with Antonio Banderas and Serendipity; Right Pictures bought four films in Thailand including Bounce and Serendipity; Forum Film in Israel bought five films including Chocolat starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Other deals were clinched with Forum Films in Hungary, Blitz in Yugoslavia, Skifan in Iceland and United in Bulgaria.
Barcelona-based mini-studio The Filmax Group has closed a string of sales on four English-language titles from its Fantasic Factory sci-fi and terror genre division - Brian Yuzna's Faust, Jack Sholder's Arachnid, Stuart Gordon's Dagon and Yuzna's Beyond Reanimator. StudioCanal has taken French-speaking European rights on the four titles while Helkon has taken German rights to all but Faust and Japan's World Television has acquired Dagon and Beyond Reanimator. Brazil's Flashstar has taken all four titles as did South Korea's Media Service, the Philippines' Pioneer, India's Lakshmi Pictures, Malaysia's Suraya, Indonesia's Menara, Taiwan's Ta Lai, Thailand's Mongkol and South Africa's Nu Metro. Filmax has also pre-sold Jaume Balaguero's Darkness to France and Benelux (StudioCanal), Ad Movie (South Korea), Mongkol (Thailand), New Action (Taiwan), Malaysia (Suraya), India (Aditya) and the former Yugoslavia (AG Market).
Artist View Entertainment has sold domestic rights to its Sam Pillsbury-directed drama Morgan's Ferry to Blockbuster Video in the US. Starring Kelly McGillis and Billy Zane, the movie continues a streak of movie acquisitions by Blockbuster which began at the Sundance Film Festival when Blockbuster bought rights to Shadow Hours and Love And Sex.
Spanish distributor Golem has acquired Lars von Trier's Cannes contender Dancer In The Dark from Trust Film Sales. The titles has also gone to Shochiku for Japan and a Korean deal is also pending.
Will Tyrer and Chris Ball's Newmarket Group has sold rights in three major territories to its Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts-starrer The Mexican which is a co-production with DreamWorks SKG. Gaga Communications bought the film for Japan, Helkon in Germany and Tri Pictures in Spain. Summit Entertainment assisted in the sale of the film in which Pitt plays a reluctant bagman who has to settle a score with both a crime kingpin and his girlfriend Roberts. Gore Verbinski (Mouse Hunt) is directing
Three minutes of footage was it all took for USA Films to be seduced by Wong Kar-wai's latest film In The Mood For Love and acquire the Hong Kong romantic drama for North American distribution from Fortissimo Film Sales.The pre-emptive purchase, which includes a first-look option on Wong Kar-wai's next movie 2046, echoes USA's deal last year at Cannes which saw it buying eventual Palme d'Or winner Rosetta ahead of its competition screening on the final Saturday night.
New Line International has clinched several territorial deals on its epic adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings. Nippon Herald has bought the trilogy for Japan, Metropolitan Filmexport for France, Taewon Entertainment for Korea, C+P for Benelux and Ernesto Di Sarro's start-up distributor Nexo Pictures for Italy. The C+P deal marks the first time that New Line has sold all rights to the alliance.
M6 Interactions, the trading offshoot of the French broadcaster, has been discreetly building a major theatrical and home video distribution operation that will market such high profile recent acquisitions as Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty and Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York in France. The outfit, under Thierry Desmichelle, M6 Interactions' deputy general manager in charge of film, teamed up with CLT-Ufa to co-acquire Scorsese's $100m period gangster film that will then be put out CLT-Ufa's French distribution offshoot SND.
TF1 International has picked up worldwide rights on Lea Pool's first English-language project, Lost And Delirious, which starts shooting May 29 in Lennoxville. The Can$7m film, set in a girls' boarding school in English-speaking Canada in the sixties, is produced by Lorraine Richard of CiteAmerique.
Kinowelt has bought all German right to Directors' Fortnight title Summer aka 27 Missing Kisses by Georgian film-maker Nana Djordjadze and sold by Le Studio Canal Plus' classics division Wild Bunch. Summer has been sold in several other European territories (including Italy to Academie) and most Asian countries (including Japan to Comstock). UK and Canadian deals are pending.
Glenn Standring's The Irrefutable Truth About Demons has turned into the New Zealand Film Commission's biggest hit for Cannes 2000 with sales to Canada, Spain, India and Iceland. Blackwatch has licensed the horror/thriller for Canada, Fase REM for Spain, Raghunath Films International for India, and Bergvik for Iceland. These deals follow on the heels of sales to Korea, Benelux and, via a Le Studio Canal/FIP joint arrangement, to France.
Canadian sales agent Cinemavault.com has licensed theatrical rights for Paul Cox's Innocence to Comstock for Japan and Prodi Films for most of South America. Cinemavault has also sold the comedy Psycho Beach Party to Korea's GMI, which has made a substantial p&a commitment to the release.
FilmFour International has sold Peter Cattaneo's Our Lucky Break to Amuse for Japan. The UK comedy also went to Academy/Lady Film for Italy and Rosebud for Greece. Paramount and Miramax Films acquired territories including the US earlier in the market. Meanwhile Sad Fuckers Club went to Spain (Vertigo), Turkey (Piano); Greece (Prooptiki); and former Yugoslavia (Discovery). Vertigo also took Purely Belter for Spain, while Pan Europeenne closed on French rights and Academy/Lady Film bought Italy. Fox Searchlight took all rights to Sexy Beast in South Africa and Turkey, while Charlotte Gray went to the Middle East (Jaguar Films) and Turkey (Umut Filmcilik). Some Voices sold to the Czech and Slovak Republics (SPI); former Yugoslavia (Discovery); Iceland (Haskolabio); and Poland (SPI). Discovery picked up Large for former Yugoslavia, while SPI took Hotel Splendide for the Czech and Slovak Republics and Gregory's 2 Girls for Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics.
French foreign sales outfit Flach Pyramide International (FPI) has picked up Catherine Corsini's fourth project, La Repetition, which is to topline Emmanuelle Beart and Canadian actress Pascale Bussieres. The film centres on two friends who are re-united after a ten-year hiatus.
Beyond Films has handed over the rights to Andrew Dominik's Chopper to NonStop Entertainment for Scandinavia, the first signed sale resulting from the film's considerable buzz.
Hong-Kong powerhouse, Media Asia has struck a four-picture deal with Miramax Films for North American distribution. The deal, which lifts Media Asia's Cannes deal total to $6m, is headed by Purple Storm, the sci-fi actioner which recently cleared up at the Taiwan Golden Horse and Hong Kong academy awards. The other three are recent library titles.
Highlight Communications has extended its relationship with Miramax International and grabbed a ten-picture deal with Nu Image. From Miramax it has bought three more titles including John Cusack-starrer Serendipity, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck-headed Bounce and the all star Wakin' Up In Reno. The ten pictures from Avi Lerner's Nu Image are Jean-Claude Van Damme picture The Order, to which Columbia TriStar this week bought all non-German rights, Ticker, Disaster, Panic, Skeleton In A Closet, Coldheart, Mossad, Octopus 2, Spider 2 and Crocodile 2. In a further deal Highlight bought No Vacancy with Lolita Davidovich, Christina Ricci and Robert Wagner from market newcomer Independent Artists.
UK-based Capitol Films has sold Deuces Wild to Italia Films for the Middle East and Israel's Noah. The company has also sold competition title A One And A Two to Italy's Istituto Luce, Benelux's Les Films Elysees, Portugal's Atalanta and Switzerland's Trygon.
Palace has snaped up Australian and New Zealand rights to Silvio Soldini's Italian comedy Bread And Tulips from Adriana Chiesa Enterprises. It is likely to get a limited release on 8-10 prints next year.
Svensk Filmindustri has picked up world sales rights (outside Scandianvia) to a still untitled project by Junk Mail director Pal Sleuthane. The black comedy thriller which stars Robert Skjaerstadcand Andrine Saether, is currently in production.
Media Luna, Svensk Filmindustri, Nordisk Films and the New Zealand Film Commission have all struck distribution deals with specialist on- and off-line distributor article27. SF titles include those by Lasse Hallstrom and Bo Widerberg
The Kushner-Locke Company has licensed a slew of territories on its horror picture The St Francisville Experiment. Among the territories it has been sold to are Germany and Eastern Europe (KirchMedia), Spain and Portugal (Filmax), Benelux (RCV), Japan (K2), Taiwan (Long Shong) and Greece (Hellas).
Spanish producer Jordi Rediu of Agotadas Las Localidades has closed a sale to South Korea's Vix Productions for all rights on Tatawo, a debut film from director-writer Jo Sol which Rediu sold his apartment to finance.
REP has picked up Australian and New Zealand rights from UGC on Jean Pierre Jeunet's unfinished Amelie, while REP's more specialised sister company Dendy Films has acquired Kevin MacDonald's provocative documentary One Day In September about the 1972 Munich Olympics. The documentary is timely given Sydney's hosting of the Olympics this September and negotiations were conducted directly with producer Arthur Cohen. REP earlier bought Karyn Kusama's Girlfight from United Artists Films for Australia and New Zealand.
The UK's Winchester Films will handle international sales outside the UK on animation film Christmas Carol - The Movie, which is voiced by Nicolas Cage, Rhys Ifans, Michael Gambon, Jane Horrocks, Simon Callow and Kate Winslet. The co-production between The Illuminated Film Company, MBP and UK Lottery franchise The Film Consortium is to be directed by Jimmy Murakami, produced by Iain Harvey and executive produced by Nik Powell.
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