‘Great Expectations’ To Close London Fest
In addition to screening next month in Toronto, director Mike Newell’s version of Great Expections has been selected as the closing night presentation of the 56th BFI London Film Festival. The Dickens classic adapted by David Nicholls will screen October 21 at the Odeon Leicester Square. It stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine as Pip, the orphan who’s given a chance to rise from humble beginnings owing to a mysterious benefactor. It also stars Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Ewen Bremner, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams and Tamzin Outhwaite. Great Expectations is produced by Number 9 Films partners Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley. Producers for Unison Films are Emanuel Michael and David Faigenblum. The movie was financed by BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund, Lipsync Productions, Unison Films and Hart/Lunsford Pictures.

HBO Launches Web-Only Service In Nordic Markets
HBO will launch a streaming service in Nordic countries that won’t require customers to be signed up with a cable or satellite pay TV. HBO Nordic, a joint venture between Time Warner’s HBO and Parsifal International, will roll out both a premium TV service and the Web service in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland from mid-October. HBONordic.com compete with with Netflix which is expected to launche its own Nordic streaming service soon. All of HBO’s shows including Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire will be available on the HBO Nordic streaming service for less than 10 euros (about $12.50) a month. In the U.S. HBO has resisted consumer calls to offer HBO Go online without requiring subscriptions to cable or satellite packages. Meanwhile the company is roling out HBO Go on-demand movies to subscribers in nine European countries.

Rialto To Handle StudioCanal Library In U.S.
New York-based Rialto Pictures has signed a three-year agreement with StudioCanal to handle U.S. theatrical distribution of more than 2,000 international classics owned by the French media giant. One of the world’s most significant film libraries, StudioCanal titles include films by Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Melville, Claude Chabrol, Abel Gance, Vittorio De Sica, Alain Resnais, Mike Nichols, Jacques Tati, Akira Kurosawa, Bertrand Tavernier and Orson Welles. The library also includes former Carolco and De Laurentiis Entertainment Group titles Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, Basic Instinct and Rambo plus Crimes of the HeartEscape From New YorkThe Lion in Winter, The Graduate and This is Spinal Tap. The company also owns hundreds of British films including Alexander Mackendrick’s The Man in the White Suit starring Alec Guinness, French masterpieces including Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion and Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

Fortissimo Has ‘Touch Of The Light’ Outside Chinese Markets
Continuing its relationship with Wong Kar Wai and his Block 2 Pictures/Jet Tone Films, Fortissimo Films annouced today it has acquired worldwide distribution rights outside of Taiwan, Hong Kong and China to the acclaimed Touch Of The Light, directed by Chang Jung-Chi and showcasing the acting debut of piano prodigy Huang Yu-Siang and based on events in his own life. It also features leading Taiwanese actress Sandrine Pinna. The film is produced by Jacky Pang Yee-Wah and Cheung Hong-Tat. The movie is slated for release in Taiwan through Warner Bros in late September with release in China and the rest of  Asia  early next year.