Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: One of the last buzz titles at the Toronto Film Festival is about to find a distributor. I’m told that Mark Urman’s Paladin/108 Media is acquiring all U.S. rights to Midnight’s Children, the Deepa Mehta-directed adaptation of the 1981 Salman Rushdie novel. The film will get a platform theatrical release in April. Mehta helmed the Oscar-nominated Water and this film is based on one of Rushdie’s most famous Booker Prize-winning works. Rushdie wrote the script with Mehta and he attended the film’s gala premiere in Toronto.

Midnight’s Children is a lavish period drama about India’s shift from British colonialism to independence. The story is about two infants born on midnight August 15, 1947, the moment India achieved independence. The infants are switched at birth — one rich being raised poor and the poor child is raised rich. The story contains some magical elements, but it is a symbol of the destiny for India itself, played out over three decades. The film was financed by Telefilm Canada and Echo Lake and produced by David Hamilton, with FilmNation brokering worldwide sales.

This will mark the second Toronto deal for Paladin, which acquired the Michel Gondry-directed The We And The I.

Now, is anybody going to buy Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder? I realize the film didn’t get nearly as rousing a reaction at Toronto as did Malick’s last Oscar-nominated film The Tree Of Life. But it’s Terry frickin’ Malick, after all. There’s no way he walks away from a major festival without a distribution deal.

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