Endemol has entered an exclusive first-look development and distribution deal with UK drama producer Mam Tor Productions Limited. The Big Brother producer will provide development funding and deficit financing during the three-year deal in return for exclusive first-look distribution rights to Mam Tor’s output. Mam Tor was founded in April by former film and TV agent Tally Garner who previously ran Curtis Brown’s in-house production company Cuba Pictures. Her credits include BAFTA winning drama Boy A with Andrew Garfield, and Rufus Norris’ feature Broken. She also exec-produces BBC One’s adaptation of Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Endemol Pacts With Mam Tor; Cannes Looks East; ‘For The Dogs’ Becomes ‘Hunter’s Prayer’
Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. rights to Xavier Dolan’s Cannes pic Mommy. The plan is to release it in first-quarter 2015. Dolan’s fifth film centers on an explosive 15-year-old boy with ADHD and his widowed single mom. But when Kyla, a new girl across the street, enters their lives, things change. Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon and Suzanne Clément star.
Dolan, a Canadian, moved up to the Cannes Competition lineup for the first time with Mommy after winning three prizes in Directors’ Fortnight at just 19 (he was famously miffed to be in Un Certain Regard rather than Competition in 2012 with his Laurence Anyways). Mommy won the Grand Jury prize this year.
EOne and Montreal-based Les Films Séville are handling distribution of the film in English and French Canada, while Séville International VP International Sales Anick Poirier negotiated the U.S. deal with Roadside co-president Howard Cohen and attorney Greg Bernstein.
Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe is set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, and its depiction of disenchanted youth features a cast of non-professional, deaf actors. The pic’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without subtitles, music or voice-over. It won three honors this year in the Cannes sidebar. Drafthouse Films plans a theatrical and digital rollout sometime in 2015.
In the pic, a boy enters a specialized boarding school for the deaf. Alone in this new and unfamiliar place, he must find his way through the school’s hierarchy. Sergey quickly encounters the tribe, a student gang dealing in crime and prostitution. After passing their hazing rituals and being inducted into the group, he takes part in several robberies and begins to work his way up the chain of command to become pimp-protector for two of the girls, who turn tricks at the local truck stop. Finding himself in love with one of them, he ultimately breaks all the unwritten rules of the tribe, with tragic consequences.
The deal was negotiated by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato from Alpha Violet and James Emanuel Shapiro and CEO Tim League from Drafthouse.
French New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D Goodbye To Language shared the jury prize this year at Cannes – it was his first win ever at Cannes. Now the experimental pic is getting a U.S. release beginning in October after Kino Lorber acquired all North American rights. It will open first at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center in NYC late in the month, followed by a national theatrical rollout on 3D screens; a VOD and 3D Blu-ray release is planned for 2015.
The pic is 69 minutes long and centers on a couple whose relationship breaks down, with the second half taking a dog’s-eye view of the world. Check out the trailer here.
The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber and Carole Baraton, head of international sales at Wild Bunch.
Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to this year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep. The Turkish drama took the top prize despite its daunting 3-hour, 16-minute run time that even had jury president Jane Campion wondering if she’d need a bathroom break in the middle of the Palais premiere. “But it had such a beautiful rhythm and it just took me in,” Campion said at the post-awards press conference. “Actually I could have sat there for another two hours. It was all very Chekhovian. I could see myself in all of the characters.” Adopt plans a year-end 2014 U.S. release.
Radius-TWC has picked up its second pic from this year’s Cannes Film Festival Critics Week sidebar, acquiring U.S. rights to the David Robert Mitchell horror movie It Follows. The deal follows the Weinstein Company label’s buy of fellow Critics Week selection When Animals Dream this year; it picked up Blue Ruin at Cannes the year before. A first-quarter 2015 release is planned for It Follows, which centers on a teenager (Maika Monroe) who finds herself plagued by disturbing visions and the inescapable sense that something is following her after she has a strange sexual encounter. Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi and Lili Sepe star. Animal Kingdom and Northern Lights financed the pic, and Radius-TWC principals Tom Quinn and Jason Janego negotiated the deal with Cinetic in conjunction with Jen Dana on behalf of the filmmakers. Mitchell, who also wrote and directed 2010′s The Myth Of The American Sleepover, produced with Rebecca Green, Laura D. Smith, David Kaplan and Erik Rommesmo.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Dartmoor Killing’ Casts Up; Radcliffe’s ‘Velocity’ Sells Out; Rare Television Acquires 360Production
UK director Peter Nicholson (Nuremberg: Goering’s Last Stand, Pompeii: The Last Day) is prepping feature psychological thriller Dartmoor Killing with principal photography to begin on June 10th. Isabelle Grey (Accused) wrote the script about two twentysomething friends who are led into a web of mind games, sexual deceit and betrayal when they meet an enigmatic stranger on a weekend trip. Gemma-Leah Devereux (The Tudors), Rebecca Night (Lark Rise To Candleford) and Callum Blue (Colombiana, Smallville) star with David Hayman (Queen And Country, Jack Ryan) and theater actress Olivia Morgan also in the cast. Producer is Jayne Chard with Penny Wolf and Luke Randolph exec producing. The film was developed with the support of Film London’s Build Your Audience and Micro- Market.
As my French fog lifts in the wake of my return from the Cannes Film Festival it’s a good time to look at how it might have impacted the 2014 Oscar race as the calendar turns to June and we have the first big benchmark out of the way. That’s not to say that Cannes is a huge indicator of where this thing will be come Fall when it really heats up, but this is one of the better years I think in terms of Cannes and potential for its ultimate impact on the awards season. Some years are better than others. You might recall in 2011 three films in the official Cannes selection, The Tree Of Life, Midnight In Paris and The Artist all went on to Best Picture nominations with the latter even winning. It’s never too early to speculate.
Sony Pictures Classics (which had Midnight In Paris) certainly seems to think 2014 is going to similarly big so they put out a press release earlier this week touting their triumph on the Cote d’Azur . They held the hot hand this year with a flurry of titles they brought and bought to Croisette. They come out of Cannes very strong with contenders of various stripes across several categories including Best Picture for Foxcatcher and Mr. Turner (with an outside shot for Directors Fortnight entry Whiplash which actually …
The film premiered on the Croisette this month, winning the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. Magnolia Pictures has grabbed U.S. rights to Ruben Östlund’s tragicomedy Force Majuere (Turist), which follows a Swedish family’s Alpine ski vacation that goes very wrong. When news of a looming avalanche sends people fleeing, the mother shields her children — but Dad grabs his phone and makes a run for it. When snow settles, a marriage hangs in the balance. The deal was negotiated for Magnolia’s John Von Thaden Dori Begley closed the domestic deal with Olimpia Pont Cháfer of Coproduction Office. No release plans were announced.
Despite the tepid expectations going into Cannes, the festival turned out to be prolific with deals. In the latest, Drafthouse Films acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Cedric Jimenez’s period crime thriller La French, starring Jean Dujardin. This was a pre-buy based on an eight minute sizzle reel shown at Cannes. The buzz on that reel also got Jimenez signed by WME. It’s the first collaboration between Gaumont and Drafthouse Films. Alain Goldman and Legende Films produced the pic and Dujardin stars with Gilles Lellouche. Gaumont International head Cecile Gaget and Yohann Comte brokered the deal with Drafthouse’s James Shapiro and Tim League.
La French takes place in the late 1970s in Marseille and is based on the true story of the judge who tried to stop the French Connection, one of the most powerful drug organizations of its time. The film spans Marseille, which was the world capital of drug trafficking and the main supplier of heroin in the U.S., and NYC.
“One of our goals is to get young audiences excited about foreign language film,” says Drafthouse Films founder and CEO Tim League. “We combed the market and devoured the official selections. Nothing excited us more than La French.”
La French was shot on 35mm and will be screened theatrically in select venues in 35mm along with a collection of vintage 35mm classic crime trailers curated by Cedric Jimenez. Drafthouse Films also plans a limited edition VHS release …
Catch up on must-reads from Deadline’s week in film:
Cannes: From Chekhov In Turkey To Rampaging Dogs Award Winners Prove This Fest Had It All
By Pete Hammond
It’s all over but the re-runs. The 67th Cannes Film Festival unofficially ended Saturday night with the crowning of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s endless, but admired, Chekovian epic Winter Sleep being crowned with the coveted Palme d’Or.
Cannes: ‘Lion’ To Roar In $12 Million TWC Deal After Quiet Auction
By Mike Fleming Jr.
EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping deal that was done in stealth mode, The Weinstein Company is nearing a $12 million deal for Lion, a Luke Davies-scripted adaptation of the Saroo Bierley book A Long Way Home.
Cannes: Quentin Tarantino On Digital As The Death Of Cinema; A ‘Django’ Miniseries; ‘Hateful Eight’ Prospects & More
By Nancy Tartaglione
“It’s rare to see a filmmaker who doesn’t have a movie here in Cannes do a press conference,” said Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux as he introduced Quentin Tarantino to journalists this afternoon. But Cannes loves Tarantino and the feeling is clearly mutual. His Pulp Fiction Palme d’Or is “my single, absolutely, positively greatest achievement,” the director said.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Classics just completed a U.S. rights deal for Salt of the Earth, re-teaming them with Le Pacte, with whom SPC last partnered on The Patience Stone. The film played in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Honor. It is directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
Said partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard: “Sony Pictures Classics is overjoyed to be back in business with the master, Wim Wenders, and to discover the work of Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.” Said Salgado: “Sony Pictures Classics has the legacy of releasing some of the most compelling films of our times. I’m very excited for “The Salt of the Earth” it couldn’t have found a better home in the US.”
“I’m very happy that my long-lasting relation with Sony Pictures Classics can continue now with The Salt of the Earth,” adds Co-Director Wim Wenders.
SPC quietly had an unbelievably prolific festival and has lined its 2014 slate with quality fare. They came to Cannes with the Sundance smash Whiplash, the Bennett Miller-helmed Foxcatcher (which so far seems like the Oscar film to beat), the Mike Leigh-directed Mr. Turner, the Zhang Yimou-directed Coming Home, and the well liked hockey documentary Red Army. While at the festival, SPC acquired Wild Tales, Jimmy’s Hall, Saint Laurent and Leviathan.
Despite the star wattage films that the Cannes Film Festival books annually — and this year was no exception, with such titles as the Kristen Stewart-Juliette Binoche film Sils Maria, Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman and the Robert Pattinson apocalyptic headliner The Rover — it’s a cinematic event that’s always at the forefront of lauding the artsier titles, no matter how popular they are with the masses or critics. Here’s a closer look at some of today’s winners in trailers and clips:
Palme d’Or Winner: Winter Sleep
Pete Hammond pointed out early in the festival that the Nuri Bilge Ceylan film from Turkey was this year’s longest sit at 3 hours and 16 minutes at the Palais Grand Theatre Lumiere. Film follows Aydin, a retired actor, who runs the Othello Hotel in central Anatolia. The snow begins to fall, and one could say that a cabin fever ensues for Aydin who tends to a stormy relationship with his wife and arguments about rich vs. poor with his recently divorced sister. Memento Films is handling foreign sales.
It’s all over but the re-runs. The 67th Cannes Film Festival unofficially ended Saturday night with the crowning of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s endless, but admired, Chekovian epic Winter Sleep being crowned with the coveted Palme d’Or. Because French elections fall on Monday the festival decided to end the key competition a day early and leave Sunday to repeats of movies shown earlier, just as they did on Saturday where fortunately I was able to catch up with Winter Sleep just so I would be prepared for its big victory. At 3 hours and 16 minutes it was easily the longest movie in the competition and still managed to prove, just as the three-hour Blue Is The Warmest Color did last year, that length doesn’t matter when it comes to impressing juries. At the post – press conference Jury President Jane Campion said she was worried initially. “I was scared when I looked at the running time and it said three hours and fifteen minutes. I thought I might need a toilet break. But it had such a beautiful rhythm and it just took me in. Actually I could have sit there for another two hours. It was all very Chekhovian. I could see myself in all of the characters,” she said. Another two hours? Don’t encourage him, Jane. Turkish arthouse fave Ceylan has been coming to Cannes for an ego boost for years and …
UPDATE 11:24 AM PT: Before my colleague Pete Hammond weighs in with his analysis of tonight’s winners and comments from the jury, here’s a little bit about what went down at the prize ceremony. There were several emotional moments with Master of Ceremonies Lambert Wilson kicking things off by saying, “The best things have an end. Not films.” He introduced outgoing Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob, who is leaving the organization after joining in 1977. In a fitting turn in his last official capacity, he awarded the Camera d’Or for best first feature and received a standing ovation on his way onto the stage, and as he exited. There were not a lot of dry eyes for the rest of the running, as Best Actor Timothy Spall fought back his own tears, and Xavier Dolan, the enfant terrible of Canadian cinema, accepted his shared Jury Prize for Mommy. This was his first film in the main competition after first coming to Cannes in 2009 with I Killed My Mother in Directors’ Fortnight at the ripe young age of 20. He particularly thanked jury president Jane Campion, telling her that The Piano helped to define his career. There were some surprises, and some films that we expected would win statues. Pete will tell you more in just a bit.
Just as the festival winds down ahead of tonight’s awards ceremony, Cohen Media Group has acquired U.S. rights for Timbuktu, the Competition title directed by Abderrahmane Sissako. The French-Mauritanian film tells the story of the brief occupation of Timbuktu by militant Islamic rebels and has received strong buzz here on the ground. Co-written by Sissako and Kessen Tall, Timbuktu illustrates the fate of a previously free people at the hands of the rebels who attempted to impose religious law on the formerly freewheeling city. Sissako was last in Cannes with the out of competition Bamako in 2006. He won the FIPRESCI prize in 2002 with Un Certain Regard title Waiting For Happiness. The U.S. distribution deal was negotiated by CMG Executive Vice President John Kochman and Camille Néel, head of International Sales for Le Pacte.
The Directors’ Fortnight sidebar is actually non-competitive, but certain partners of the Société des Réalisateurs Français, the French directors’ body that organizes the event, attribute awards. Earlier today, international critics’ group FIPRESCI gave its prize in the section to France’s Les Combattants (Love At First Fight) by Thomas Cailley. This evening it has also taken the Art Cinema Award, the SACD Prize and the Europa Cinéma Label Prize. It’s notable that two of those went to a French film last year, Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table! which went on to big box office success in France as well as several Césars. Billed as “A love story. Or a story of survival. Or both,” the debut feature stars Adèle Haenel and Kevin Azaïs and releases in France on August 20. The Short Film prize was given to Sem Coraçao by Portugal’s Nara Normande and Tião with Special Mention for Trece Si Prin Perete by Radu Jude.