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Berlin Day 3: FilmNation Takes ‘Shelter’; ATO Buys ‘The Woman In the Fifth’

FilmNation has taken overseas rights to Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, which Sony Pictures Classics bought early on at the Sundance Film Festival. Michael Shannon stars opposite Jessica Chastain as a man haunted by his dreams who obsessively starts building a storm shelter in his backyard. But what he can’t tell those closest to him is what he really is afraid his dreams signify. Ad Vitam has already come on board for France. FilmNation will begin selling in earnest at Cannes.

… ARC Entertainment and XLrator Media Partnership have also taken U.S. rights to John Carpenter’s The Ward, the cult director’s first feature since the late 90s. Amber Heard (Drive Angry 3D), Mamie Gummer (Off the Map) and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) star in this shocker set in a 60s mental institution terrorised by malevolent forces. Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding of Echo Lake Entertainment (Tsotsi) produce along with Peter Block of A Bigger Boat. XLrator negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Echo Lake’s Andy Spaulding. FilmNation is handling overseas.

… And Blue Lake Entertainment Fund, an “8-figure” fund launched by Echo Lake Entertainment and Canadian financier Blue Ice Entertainment, is to finance projects on the books of Paris-based sales agent Celluloid Dreams. Blue Lake will finance projects budgeted over $10 million by proven directors with global appeal. Celluloid Dreams has a reputation of being one of the toniest sales agents in Europe, having in the past worked with directors Michael Haneke, Jacques Audiard and Francois Ozon. Celluloid Dreams CEO … Read More »

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Berlin: The World Likes Tupac Shakur

Mike Fleming

Morgan Creek Productions is doing well in selling offshore rights to Tupac, the biopic of rapper Tupac Shakur that will begin production by the summer with Antoine Fuqua directing. One might think a film about an American rapper who died in 1996 might be a tough sell outside the U.S. Not so. Morgan Creek has sold Canada TV rights to E!, Australia/New Zealand to Hopscotch, UK free TV to BBC, Benelux to Paradiso, Scandanavia to AB Svensk, South Africa to NuMetro, Middle East to Italia Films, Switzerland to Ascot Elite, Greece to Village Roadshow, Taiwan to Studio Solutions Group, India to Italia Films and Iceland to Sam Film. Universal is distributing in the US and Daniel Diamond, MCP’s president of International Sales & Distribution, continues to move territories in Berlin.

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Berlin: Weinstein, Icon Confirm Deal For Ralph Fiennes-Directed ‘Coriolanus’

Mike Fleming

Deadline told you February 3 that The Weinstein Company was acquiring domestic distribution on the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus, and TWC and Icon International have just announced the deal. Here’s the official release:

New York, NY, February 11, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired from Icon Entertainment International (IEI) U.S. rights and Pan Asian pay TV rights to CORIOLANUS, the feature directorial debut of Academy Award® nominated actor Ralph Fiennes. A contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s classic play about the titular Roman warrior, CORIOLANUS stars Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Academy Award® winner Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain and James Nesbitt.

CORIOLANUS will make its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival this Monday, February 14. TWC plans a 2011 release.

Said TWC Co-Chairman, Harvey Weinstein, “My brother’s and my relationship with Ralph stretches back many years and includes two of our most cherished productions, THE ENGLISH PATIENT and THE READER. He’s a brilliant artist, and we are honored and delighted to partner with him in bringing CORIOLANUS to American moviegoers.”

Ralph Fiennes said, “I’m thrilled that Harvey and TWC will distribute CORIOLANUS in the U.S. His response to the film was overwhelmingly passionate. He really embraced it. This has been a long road and I cannot think of a better company to do it in the U.S.”

Said IEI Managing Director, Hugo Grumbar, “TWC is the perfect U.S. home for Ralph’s

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Berlin: ‘Saw’ Guy James Wan Scares Up 8-Picture Deal

Mike Fleming

February 11, 2011 (Berlin, Germany) – Writer/Producer/Director James Wan has closed an eight (8) picture deal with the Icon Entertainment International (IEI), it was announced today by Wan and Hugo Grumbar, Managing Director (International) for Icon, at the Berlin Film Festival.

Wan who is best known for creating and directing the first in the “Saw” franchise of films which have gone on to gross over $850,000,000 worldwide, will produce two (2) horror films a year under the agreement with Icon. Wan recently sold the film INSIDIOUS to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group at the Toronto Film Festival.

The first picture to be put through the slate is HOUSE OF HORROR, which is based on a story written by James Wan. Max La Bella wrote the screenplay. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall, A.K.A Tres Dias) is attached to direct with James Wan and Lee Clay producing.

“I wanted to have the creative freedom and the ability to work with really artistic film makers who can help me bring an original and innovative style of genre films to the public. Paradigm paved the way for this and we have chosen to partner with Icon who are a perfect fit for us,” Wan said.

Icon will handle worldwide sales for the titles and distribute in the UK through theatrical arm Icon Film Distribution. Paradigm and attorney David Fox rep Wan and Paradigm’s Motion Picture Finance Group will package and rep North American rights.

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Berlin Day 2: Strand Takes ‘Tyrannosaur’; Deepa Mehta Shoots ‘Midnight’s Children’

Strand Releasing has taken U.S. rights to Paddy Considine’s feature debut Tyrannosaur from sales agent Protagonist. The film won 2 awards for directing and acting at Sundance following its premiere in Park City. Optimum Releasing has already picked Tyrannosaur up for the UK. Brit actor Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum, Red Riding Trilogy) directs Peter Mullan as a violent self-destructive man who is redeemed by the love of a Christian charity shop worker (Olivia Coleman) – but she’s hiding a secret of her own

… Deepa Mehta (Water) has started filming Midnight’s Children, based on Salman Rushdie’s award-winning novel about twins born at the moment of India’s independence from the British Raj on August 15, 1947. Mehta has collaborated with Rushdie on the script. Sales agent FilmNation has already pre-sold the film to 20 territories including Australia, France and the UK.

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Berlin: Magnolia Acquires ‘Point Blank’

Mike Fleming

Magnolia Pictures has secured North American rights to the French thriller from Gaumont. It’s directed by Fred Cavayé and stars Gilles Lellouche as a man who races against time through Paris to save his pregnant, kidnapped wife. It also stars Roschdy Zem, Gerard Lanvin and Elena Anaya.

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