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Berlin: Another Hot Package In Daniel Craig-Attached ‘The Whole Truth’

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 5:19pm PST

craigdanielBREAKING: Daniel Craig has come attached to star in courtroom drama The Whole Truth. The pic will be directed by Courtney Hunt (Frozen River). CAA and WME are packaging the project, with FilmNation emerging victorious in a dash to handle foreign rights. The talent details were tipped by The Daily Mail‘s Baz Bamigboye in London. The Whole Truth is produced by Richard Suckle. Nicholas Kazan wrote the script.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: BFI Details Yearlong Initiative To Bolster Relationship With China; Docu ‘Web Junkie’ Coming To UK TV Via BBC Storyville

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 10:00pm PST

British Film Institute Strengthening Industry’s Ties To China
In December, British Prime Minister David Cameron visited China on a mission to strengthen ties across many sectors, the film industry among them. During the trip, an agreement was made in principle to support the conclusion of a union-jack__130327194249-200x123UK-China co-production treaty. The British Film Institute is now moving forward with further plans to increase its relationship with the world’s No. 2 box office market. The new initiative is going by the moniker Electric Shadows — the Chinese term for movies. The program will encompass a year of business, trade, and creative and cultural China-flagcollaborations between the UK and China and is designed to grow mutual economic and cultural benefits for film from both countries. Part of the aim is to bring previously difficult-to-access Chinese cinema to UK audiences and, in turn, to make British cinema available to Chinese audiences. The moves fall in line with the BFI’s International Strategy, in which China is a key priority territory. In February, Personal Tailor and Back To 1942 director Feng Xiaogang will visit the UK to accompany a retrospective of his work, a gala screening of Back To 1942 and to be interviewed about his career at BFI Southbank. The BFI and the British Council also will work closely with the Beijing International Film Festival in April to lead a trade delegation and present British films at the event. From June through October, the BFI will stage an exploration of Chinese cinema in the UK, and in the fall, a selection of contemporary and classic British film will be shown in Beijing. Read More »

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Berlin: Buyers Are Wetting Their Beaks On Sizzle Reels; Which Ones Will Get Deals?

By | Monday February 11, 2013 @ 3:02pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While my colleague Nancy Tartaglione has reported a somewhat soft market midway through Berlin, seeds are being planted for a lot of deals that might not bear fruit until Cannes. Domestic and foreign buyers have been watching a lot of sizzle reels. It’s a risky way to buy a movie, but sometimes it’s a lot better than having to sit through a whole picture in between all those meetings because these presentations usually range from five to eight minutes on in-progress films.

Some of these will get deals before the week is out, and on some it starts a dialogue that leads to an onslaught of deals at Cannes, when distributors really need to plug holes in release schedules. For sure, some of these films will likely factor in next year’s Oscar race. I’ve seen this kind of salesmanship lead to splashy sales on films that have included Looper, The Iron Lady and Drive. The titles most buzzed about that I’ve heard are Grace Of Monaco, and Diana on the prestige circuit, and on the genre circuit, there is the Eli Roth cannibal extravaganza The Green Inferno. Here are the ones I’ve heard about that are whetting the appetite of buyers in Germany right now. Read More »

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Weinstein Co Acquires U.S. Distribution On ‘Blood Sisters: Vampire Academy’

BREAKING: Well that didn’t take long. Days after Deadline broke the story that Mean Girls hemer Mark Waters would direct his Heathers writer brother Daniel Waters’ script adaptation of a new film franchise based on the six-volume Richelle Mead young adult novel series Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, The Weinstein Company has sewn up a domestic rights deal at Berlin. Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) and Australian newcomer Lucy Fry will play the title characters, and Russian star Danila Kozlovski will play the male lead. Here’s the official announcement, but click on the link from Deadline’s original break to really get a feel for the subject matter. Rights are being sold by IM Global, which is financing with Reliance Entertainment.

Berlin – February 10, 2013 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired the U.S. Distribution rights to BLOOD SISTERS, the first feature film installment of the highly successful VAMPIRE ACADEMY series of young adult books from financiers Reliance Entertainment and IM Global.

BLOOD SISTERS, to be directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”, “Spiderwick Chronicles”), is based on the first book in author Richelle Mead’s hugely successful series of books, with the screenplay written by Dan Waters (“Batman Returns”, “Heathers”). The VAMPIRE ACADEMY book series is a worldwide phenomenon, with over 8 million copies in print across 35 countries. To date there are 6 books in the series, with the last 4 on the NY Times Best Sellers list.

The deal was negotiated over

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Berlin TOLDJA! Charlize Theron Locked For ‘Dark Places’

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 6:24pm PST

Deadline has been out in front on most of the star packages being unveiled in Berlin, including the revelations that Johnny Depp will star in Black Mass, Colin Farrell is joining Anthony Hopkins in Solace, and that Jeremy Renner will star in Kill The Messenger. We broke the story Monday that Charlize Theron would be signing on to star and produce the film adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Dark Places, and it was just confirmed by Exclusive Media. Here’s the official word:

Los Angeles, CA (February, 2013) – Academy Award winning actress Charlize Theron (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMEN, PROMETHEUS, MONSTER) will star in and produce the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Dark Places to be written and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner (SARAH’S KEY), it was announced today by Exclusive Media’s Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East.

Exclusive Media’s Guy East and Nigel Sinclair will produce and fully finance the film alongside Theron’s production company Denver and Delilah Productions with partners Beth Kono and AJ Dix; Stephane Marsil’s Hugo Productions and Mandalay Vision’s Matthew Rhodes. Tobin Armbrust and Alex Brunner of Exclusive Media will executive produce with Peter Safran, and Mandalay’s Cathy Schulman will also produce in some capacity.

Stephane Marsil has developed and produced all of Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s films starting with 2001’s PRETTY THINGS which garnered star Marion Cotillard a César nomination. When Gilles

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Berlin: Killer Role For Colin Farrell, Joining Anthony Hopkins In ‘Solace’

By | Monday February 4, 2013 @ 8:58am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Colin Farrell is closing a deal to star with Anthony Hopkins in Solace, the supernatural thriller that Afonso Poyart (Two Rabbits) will direct with production to begin in May. The film will be sold at Berlin by FilmNation’s Glen Basner, and domestic distribution rights are also up for grabs and are being repped by UTA.

The film’s scripted by Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin, James Vanderbilt and Peter Morgan. It has percolating long enough that the film’s first credited writer, Bailey, is currently president of production at Disney. The film originated at New Line but never came together quite right, and producers Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo, Tripp Vinson and Thomas Augsberger. Flynn finally got it back and got the financing through Claudia Bluemhuber’s Silver Reel. Matthias Emcke is exec producer with Bluemhuber, Gerd Schepers and Jacob Pechenik.

An FBI detective seeks the help of a retired and reclusive doctor, to try and solve a series of grisly murders. The doctor was a wiz at the murder game, but lost his mojo when his daughter died tragically. Desperate, the detective presses the doctor to come out of retirement for one more case. Farrell will play the serial killer, putting him mano a mano against Hopkins. That should be fun. They’ve yet to cast the detective. Read More »

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Nicolas Chartier Bullish On ‘Charlie Countryman’ Heading Into Berlin

Mike Fleming

The hot hot buzz titles at Sundance have been brokered, and while nobody involved in that festival seems to have yet caught up on sleep, the festival is fast fading in the rear view mirror. So what happens to the films that came in with big hopes but haven’t yet sold? Are they headed to the movie equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys? Hardly, says Voltage chief Nicolas Chartier.

He came to Sundance with two films, and watched the Joe Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon’s Addiction quickly sell for close to a festival record $4 million with a $25 million P&A commitment for summer release by Relativity Media. His other Sundance pic, The Shia La Beouf-starrer The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman directed by Fredrik Bond, didn’t walk off the slopes with a deal. Read More »

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Adopt Films Takes U.S. Rights To ‘Tabu’: Berlin

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 12:32pm PST

Tabu is the fourth pickup for Adopt Films from this year’s recent Berlin International Film Festival’s main competition. It won the festival’s Alfred Bauer Prize and the FIPRESCI international critics award. Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes directed and co-wrote with Mariana Ricardo the romancer about an impossible love affair set in colonial Africa.  Luís Urbano and Sandro Aguilar produced. Match Factory’s Brigitte Suárez and Michael Weber negotiated the deal with Adopt’s co-managing execs Jeff Lipsky and Tim Grady. Adopt plans a theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles in late December followed by a larger rollout in first-quarter 2013. Tabu joins fellow Adopt Berlin pickups Ceasar Must Die, which took the Golden Bear; Barbara, by Best Director winner Christian Petzold; and Silver Bear title Sister from Ursula Meier.

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Sundance Selects Acquires Doc ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’

By | Tuesday February 21, 2012 @ 12:05pm PST

Sundance Selects is planning a summer theatrical release for first-time director Alison Klayman’s documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry to correspond with the the famed artist/dissident’s first trip outside China since his detention there. Klayman had unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in the country, and the film trains an eye on contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. The documentary won a Sundance Special Jury Prize and most recently appeared in the Berlinale Special lineup in Berlin. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with John Sloss and Dana O’Keefe of Cinetic Media and Victoria Cook of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz on behalf of the filmmakers and United Expression Media.

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Adopt Films Acquires Silver Bear Winner ‘Barbara’: Berlin

By | Sunday February 19, 2012 @ 12:36pm PST

Adopt Films is continuing its spending spree at the Berlin International Film Festival, landing U.S. rights to Christian Petzold’s drama Barbara just before the film won the runner-up Silver Bear at the festival’s awards ceremony yesterday. The latest deal, announced today, comes after Adopt picked up the festival’s eventual Golden Bear winner, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s semi-documentary Caesar Must Die. The distributor also nabbed rights in Berlin to Ursula Meier’s Sister. Adopt plans a December theatrical release for Barbara – which is set in 1980 East Berlin and stars Nina Hoss as a doctor banished to a small country hospital far from freedom in the west — and said it will mount an Oscar campaign for Petzold and his lead actors. If so, it’s an aggressive move from Jeff Lipsky and Tim Grady’s Adopt, which hasn’t released its first film yet; its kickoff pic, The Ballad Of Genesis And Lady Jaye, bows March 8.

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Hot Trailer: Magnolia’s ‘Marley’

By | Saturday February 18, 2012 @ 6:07pm PST

Magnolia Pictures had already picked up U.S. rights to the Kevin Macdonald documentary about the reggae legend. The pic made its world premiere last weekend at the Berlin festival, where it sold a slew of territories. Magnolia has set an April 20 release for North America, and it is timed to roll out worldwide throughout the summer to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Jamaican Independence. Here’s the trailer, which promises new tracks and never-before-seen footage.

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Adopt Films Acquires U.S. Rights To Semi-Doc ‘Caesar Must Die’: Berlin

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 11:57am PST

Adopt Films has announced its acquisition of all U.S. rights to Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die,” its second acquisition of a title competing for the Golden Bear at this year’s ongoing Berlin International Film Festival following Ursula Meier’s “Sister.”

“Caesar Must Die” is the latest and one of the most surprising entries to be co-directed by the Taviani Brothers. This revivifying effort is the latest chapter in a storied career that includes “Padre Padrone,” “The Night of the Shooting Stars,” “Good Morning, Babylon,” “Elective Infinities,” and “Kaos.”

“Caesar Must Die” was written by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani with the collaboration of Fabio Cavalli. It stars Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri and Antonio Frasca. The deal was negotiated by Catia Rossi representing RAI Trade and Adopt’s Co-Managing Executive Tim Grady.

A fully scripted semi-documentary work, “Caesar Must Die” takes the audience behind the walls of Rome’s high-security Rebibbia prison for the rehearsal, staging, and performing of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a production cast with actual prison inmates. Alternatively fierce and introspective, acted and experienced with abject reality, “Caesar Must Die” explores the transformative power of art even under the most dire and seemingly hopeless of circumstances.

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Oscilloscope Takes U.S. Rights To ’28 Hotel Rooms’: Berlin

By | Thursday February 16, 2012 @ 10:52am PST

The debut feature from writer/director Matt Ross had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last month. It will have a national rollout later this year preceded by a premium VOD release. Elle Driver is currently selling international territories at the European Film Market. Starring Chris Messina and Marin Ireland, 28 Hotel Rooms is a raw and candid look at an intense sexual affair that evolves from a one-night stand into a powerful relationship. David Fenkel and David Laub of Oscilloscope negotiated the deal at the Berlin International Film Festival with Kevin Iwashina and Christine D’Souza of Preferred Content and Elsa Ramo on behalf of the filmmakers. Lynette Howell, Louise Runge, and Samantha Housman produced and Messina, Andrew Meieran, Stefan Nowicki, Joey Carey, and Alex Sagalchik executive produced.

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Jeff Lipsky’s Adopt Films Acquires Competition Title ‘Sister’: Berlin

By | Thursday February 16, 2012 @ 5:32am PST
Mike Fleming

Adopt Films has acquired U.S. rights to Sister (L´enfant d´en haut), the Ursula Meier-directed film that had its world premiere in the main competition of the Berlin International Film Festival. Adopt plans a late 2012 theatrical release. Sister stars Léa Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein. They play siblings struggling for survival amid the high-end ski resorts of the Swiss Alps, she working odd jobs, he excelling in not-so-petty acts of larceny, both of them walking a razor’s edge, their lives often as dangerously thrilling as those skiers from whom they steal. Seydoux played roles in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, and starred in the Berlin Competition opener Farewell, My Queen. Read More »

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EOne Scoops Up Berlin Film Titles

By | Wednesday February 15, 2012 @ 5:37am PST
Mike Fleming

Toronto/Los Angeles/London/Amsterdam/Sydney – February 15, 2012 – Entertainment One (eOne) is pleased to announce that it has secured the rights to a broad selection of premium titles at this year’s annual European Film Market in Berlin. From comedies and dramas to zombie-flicks and thrillers, eOne scored films for each of its core markets and inked a number of key multi-territory deals.

Entertainment One secured multi-territory rights for, among others:

· 2 GUNS, starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, from Foresight, UK & Canada

· A MOST WANTED MAN, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, from FilmNation Entertainment, Canada & Benelux

· DEAD MINE, Writer/Director Steven Sheil, from Celluloid Nightmares, UK, Canada & Benelux

· LOVE PUNCH, starring Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan, from SND, UK, Canada & Australia

· MISS YOU ALREADY, Director Paul Andrew Williams and starring Jennifer Aniston, from The Salt Company, UK, Canada & Australia

· SIDE EFFECTS (‘BITTER PILL’), Director Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jude Law, from FilmNation, UK & Canada

· WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, Director Jim Mickle, from Memento Films, UK & Canada

Other acquisition highlights from across eOne territories include:

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TOLDJA! Indomina-BET Buy Sundance ‘LUV’

By | Saturday February 11, 2012 @ 6:37am PST
Mike Fleming

Deadline revealed exclusively Wednesday that Indomina acquired North American theatrical distribution rights to LUV. And that a significant TV component was part of the deal 7-figure deal brokered by ICM and Cinetic. BET is the TV piece. The film is now being screened for international buyers at EFM in Berlin. Here’s the official announcement:

Los Angeles, CA (February 11, 2012) – LUV, the dramatic thriller which premiered at Sundance in the feature competition, has been acquired by The Indomina Group and BET Networks. The film will receive a significant North America theatrical release from Indomina, tentatively set for Fall 2012, followed by a broadcast premiere on BET – which has acquired television rights exclusive in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as certain ancillary rights on other platforms.

LUV (n.b. All Caps) is directed by Sheldon Candis and written by Candis and Justin Wilson. The film stars Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Meagan Good, Lonette McKee and Michael Kenneth Williams.

LUV follows 11-year-old Woody Watson, a timid Baltimore orphan who dreams of a better life — and awaits the return of his absent mother. Woody also reveres his uncle Vincent as the father figure he never had. A street hustler and former drug dealer, Vincent’s fresh off an eight-year stint in prison and wants a new direction.

When Vincent bypasses his nephew’s school one day and offers to show Woody how a man handles

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Magnolia Acquires U.S. Rights To ‘Marley’

By | Monday February 6, 2012 @ 11:18am PST

Reggae guru Bob Marley will hit the big screen April 20th via Magnolia Pictures in addition to day-and-date on VOD and digital platforms. Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King Of Scotland), the documentary will have its world premiere at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival, followed by a North American debut in March at SXSW. Made with support from the Marley family, the feature chronicles the singer’s early days through to his rise to stardom. VH1 is set to license the first TV window of the film as part of the network’s VH1 Rock Doc franchise. Steve Bing of Shangri-La Entertainment and Charles Steel produced Marley, which is executive produced by the musician’s son Ziggy Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP Acquisitions Dori Begley and Head of Business Affairs Chris Matson, for VH1 by Ben Zurier and Brad Abramson, and with Liesl Copland of WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.

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