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’
EXCLUSIVE: This year’s Directors’ Fortnight lineup features a familiar tale in We Are What We Are, the American remake of Jorge Michel Grau’s 2010 Directors’ Fortnight selection Somos Lo Que Hay. Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner star in Mickle’s version as sisters forced to take on their family’s gruesome tradition after their mother’s death. Pic debuts in the same sidebar where the original first caught producer Andrew D. Corkin’s eye three years ago. Corkin’s Uncorked Productions optioned US remake rights with Rodrigo Bellott, took it to Memento Films’ Nick Shumaker, and tapped Jim Mickle (Stake Land) to co-write and direct. Linda Moran from Belladonna Productions and Jack Turner rounded out the producing team.
Mickle describes his version as a “call and response” companion piece to the Mexican original, which told a different version of the cannibalistic family tale. Memento Films is already plotting franchise sales at Cannes, with Finnish director AJ Annila tapped to direct a prequel written by We Are What We Are co-scribe Nick Damici and Grau himself developing a 2014 sequel. eOne snatched up the pic out of Sundance and will release it theatrically. Check out Deadline’s exclusive clip:
The VFX industry has seen recent mass migrations to tax-friendly locales overseas. Until now Belgium hasn’t been one of those major runaway destinations. But European film company uMedia has unveiled a new financing deal through its VFX division uFX offering up to 40% of a project’s VFX budget for work done in-house. CEO Adrian Politowski announced the sizable offer today in Cannes. Brussels-based uMedia has additional international offices in LA, London, and Paris but its new scheme is made possible by a Belgian tax shelter. Eligible productions must spend a minimum of €50,000 through Belgium and must be a feature film, a TV movie, a TV series or documentary with a majority of European cast, crew and financing in place. The company’s recent credits include work on the Weinstein Company’s Grace Of Monaco and DreamWorks’ WikiLeaks pic The Fifth Estate.
Oscilloscope Laboratories acquired U.S. rights to Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’ Whitewash, starring Thomas Haden Church. The pic world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival where it won the Best New Narrative Director Award. Oscilloscope will release the film theatrically and across all digital platforms. In the film, Haden Church plays Bruce, a down-on-his-luck and recently unemployed plow operator in a small, snowy Canadian town. When Bruce accidentally kills a man In the midst of an angry rampage with his snowplow, he must deal with the consequences. Whitewash simultaneously explores the internalized guilt and frustration Bruce is harboring, and his external battle with the rugged wintry terrain he is faced with as he attempts to escape his situation.
EXCLUSIVE: The hitman thriller from Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti (Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles) follows prison inmates tapped to work as assassins for corrupt officials and wardens and is inspired by actual events. Pic debuts in the Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes this week as one of two Southeast Asian selections in the sidebar. XYZ Films is handling international sales. Check out the Cannes trailer exclusively at Deadline:
Jennifer Garner and Michael Caine have been cast alongside Al Pacino, Annette Bening, and Bobby Cannavale in Imagine, about an aging rock star (Pacino) who reconnects with his grown son after opening a letter sent from John Lennon to his 19-year-old self. Garner will play Pacino’s daughter-in-law, with Caine onboard as his longtime friend and manager. Writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Tangled) is set to direct from his own script for Inimitable Pictures and Mister Smith Entertainment, with filming to begin late June/early July in LA. The based-on-a-true-story pic was originally set up at WB for Steve Carell before it went into turnaround and was revived as an indie production. Denise DiNovi, Jessie Nelson, and Nimitt Mankad are producing. Shivani Rawat is executive producing for Inimitable Pictures which is financing the film. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will be shopping foreign rights this week at Cannes. WME Global is handling US sales and negotiated the deal with Mister Smith, with Stephen Dembitzer LLP repping Inimitable Pictures.
EXCLUSIVE: The indie distribution game has a new player in Vertical Entertainment, a new full service content marketing and distribution company looking to shop this month at Cannes. Founders Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin are industry vets with a combined 40 years at WB, DreamWorks, Vivendi, and Lightning Entertainment between them and have their first two initial pick-ups slated for summer theatrical releases. Rushlights with Josh Henderson, Beau Bridges and Aidan Quinn debuts on VOD and in limited release June 21. Hot Flashes stars Brooke Shields, Wanda Sykes, Virginia Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Camryn Manheim and hits VOD June 14 followed by a July 12 limited release. Vertical’s plan is to release two features each month for theatrical, home video, and digital release with a focus on $5M-10M budgeted family fare and genre films with A-list casts. “There’s room in this space for a very nimble independent that’s going to focus on content that studios ignore and try to realize its potential to all the new platforms”, said Goldberg. He and acquisition exec Peter Jarowey will be in Cannes looking to fill out their slate.
Rushlights, directed by Antoni Stutz, follows Billy (Josh Henderson) and Sarah (Haley Webb), delinquent teenage lovers from the suburbs of LA, who travel to small town Tremo, TX to falsely claim a dead friend’s inheritance. Stutz and Ashley Scott Meyers penned the script. Rushlights is produced by Jeffrey Coulter, Gabriella Stollenwerck and Stutz. …
Myriad Pictures has acquired international distribution rights to the Jessica Biel-starrer Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes. The film, written and directed by Francesca Gregorini, premiered this year at Sundance. Kaya Scodelario, Alfred Molina, Aneurin Barnard, Jimmi Simpson and Frances O’Connor also star. The film centers on Emanuel (Scodelario), an acerbic but sensitive teen who lives with her father and stepmother. When Linda (Biel), a young and hip mother, moves in next door, Emanuel becomes intrigued by Linda’s striking resemblance to her late mother, who died giving birth to Emanuel. Emanuel begins to babysit for Linda’s newborn daughter, but as Emanuel and Linda spend more time together, they develop a bond that becomes deeply entwined in a surprising secret Linda harbors. Myriad will screen the film for international buyers at next month’s Cannes market. Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes was produced by Matthew R. Brady, Gregorini, and MRB Productions; and executive produced by Jonathan Gray, Paul Schiff, Kenny Goodman, Kevin Iwashina, Michael Sackler, Julia Godzinskaya, Alice Bamford, Olga Segura, Juan Carlos Segura G, Alex Sagalchik and Brent Stiefel.
Michael Haneke’s Amour today took the Palme d’Or prize for Best Film at the finale to this year’s Cannes Film Festival. A hugely popular win at today’s ceremony as well as its premiere, the intimate drama about an elderly couple confronting the end of life was Haneke’s second win in three years. He won in 2009 for White Ribbon. Haneke and his actors on stage Jean Louis Trintignant and Emmanuele Riva received a huge standing ovation. The five American entries were shut out of the top awards — last year’s winner was the single U.S. entry, Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, and all this year’s were foreign-language films. FULL ANALYSIS and interviews with the jury coming.
Cosmina Stratan and Christina Flutor shared the Best Actress prize for Çristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills. Mungiu also was awarded the prize for best screenplay for Beyond The Hills, which was a rare case in which the jury honored one film with two awards. Mads Mikkelsen was named best actor for Jagten (The Hunt) directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Carlos Reygadas was named best director for Post Tenebras Lux. The Jury Prize went to Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share. The ceremony began with the prize for Best Short Film going to Sezziz Be Deng (Silent) by L. Rezan Yesilbas.
This year’s Sundance Film Festival hit Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which …
Specialty Box Office: ‘Cowgirls N’ Angels,’ ‘The Intouchables,’ ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ ‘Oslo, August 31st’
This weekend’s specialty openers in the U.S. include a pair of Cannes Film Festival offerings. Just over a week since its world premiere as the fest’s opening-night film, Wes Anderson’s romantic-comedy Moonrise Kingdom will bow Stateside. The film has been an initial success since opening in theaters in France on the heels of its premiere there. Cannes 2011 title Oslo, August 31st also joins the specialty fray, hoping to repeat its success overseas in the U.S., as is The Weinstein Company‘s The Intouchables. That film has become one of the largest box office draws in French history and has taken big sums overall abroad. Also this weekend, Samuel Goldwyn Films will forgo the traditional L.A. and New York approach for its theatrical opening of Cowgirls N’ Angels, opting for playdates in the Midwest and South.
After the 2011 Cannes Film Festival saw an abundance of movie deals based on sizzle reels and teaser trailers, agencies are returning to the festival looking to make even more deals with partial and completed films. Here’s an exclusive look at Phantom, a thriller that stars Ed Harris, David Duchovny and William Fichtner. The film’s written and directed by Todd Robinson and it will make its debut in screenings in the market next week. RCR Media Group and Paradigm are selling it. Here’s the trailer:
Rufus Norris’ Broken, starring Cillian Murphy and Un Certain Regard jury president Tim Roth, is opening Cannes‘ Critics’ Week section this year. A closing-night film has not been announced.
Celebrating its 51st running, the sidebar is coming off of a strong 2011 showcase for rising talent. Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter took the top Critics’ Week prize in 2011, and this year he is in the official competition with Mud. Also in 2011, Australia’s Justin Kurzel was given a special mention for Snowtown, which went on to win six Australian Film Institute prizes, while Valérie Donzelli’s Declaration Of War opened the section and became France’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar. This year’s Critics’ Week runs May 17-25. Here’s the list of contenders:
Broken, dir: Rufus Norris (UK)
Aquí Y Allá, dir: Antonio Méndez Esparza (Spain-US-Mexico)
Au Galop, dir: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (France)
Les Voisins De Dieu, dir: Meni Yaesh (Israel-France)
Hors Les Murs, dir: David Lambert (Belgium-Canada-France)
Peddlers, dir: Vasan Bala (India)
Los Salvajes, dir: Alejandro Fadel (Argentina)
Sofia’s Last Ambulance, dir: Ilian Metev (Germany-Croatia-Bulgaria)
The Little Film Company announced today that Toni Collette and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel have joined director Bill Bennett’s Defiant. Based on a true story, the thriller is set against the backdrop of a double honor killing in India. Patel will play Hari, a young man who is, along with his girlfriend, trying to escape vengeful parents who want to kill the lovers to stop them marrying. Collette will play Sally Lane, a journalist who in covering the story of the lovers is drawn into its dangers. Bennett and Australian-based Anupam Sharma are producing Defiant. The script is written by Bennett. Robbie Little’s Little Film Co is handling international sales and will debut the project to buyers in Cannes next month.
Longtime Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob and director Thierry Fremaux are staying put after the festival’s board voted to extend their deals by two more years to 2014. Jacob, 81, has spend three decades with the film world’s most vital festival, and has been president since 2001. His previous contract was set to expire after next year’s edition, which is set for May 16-27, and reports had suggested other high-profile figures were considered for the post, including French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand. Fremaux’s extension, meanwhile, includes greater oversight of the event’s budget, staffing and development.
Thousands of TV executives from around the world are en route to Cannes for the annual MIPCOM market, which starts on Monday. The great majority of them, who are flying into the nearby Nice airport, were greeted by a group of Pan Am stewardesses — a promotion for the new ABC/Sony TV series, which will be among the offerings at the confab. (Though most of the sales for the 1960s soap were made after the international screenings in May.) Probably because there is no airport in Cannes, Pan Am stewardesses were stationed at both terminals of the Nice airport, greeting travelers on their way to the annual confab, according to an attendee who snapped a picture. Among the highlights at this year’s MIPCOM: keynote speeches by Disney-ABC’s Anne Sweeney, Fox’s Kevin Reilly, Miramax’s Mike Lang and Viacom International’s Robert Bakish as well as a press conferences with Paul Verhoeven and Ashley Judd.
New York, NY (June 14, 2011) — The Cinema Guild announced today the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” co-winner of the Grand Prix at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey of The Cinema Guild with Sezgi Üstün on behalf of producer Zeynep Ozbatur of Zeyno Film. Theatrical release details will be forthcoming.
A haunting story about a group of men, among them a local prosecutor, doctor, police chief and two murder suspects, who go in search of a missing body in the Anatolian steppes, “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” is a breathtakingly beautiful work from celebrated Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Born in Istanbul in 1959, Ceylan is the director of six feature films, including “The Town” (1997), “Clouds of May” (1999), “Distant” (2003), which won the Grand Prix and the Best Actor prize at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, “Climates” (2006) and “Three Monkeys” (2008), winner of the Best Director award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
Sundance Selects acquired U.S. distribution rights to Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration of War from Wild Bunch. The film premiered at Critics Week in Cannes. It follows a couple named Romeo and Juliette, a child names Adam, his illness and their battle. The film stars Donzelli and Jeremie Elkaim, who co-wrote the script based on incidents in their lives.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures is negotiating to acquire U.S. distribution rights to the untitled Kathryn Bigelow-directed drama about Navy SEAL Team 6′s hunt for Osama bin Laden. Mark Boal, Bigelow’s partner on the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, is finalizing a script that changes the film from a drama about an unsuccessful attempt to hunt the Al Qaeda leader into a methodical hunt that culminates in his death. The film is being fully financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Production will start in the early fall and the pic will be ready for release in 2012.
Deadline pegged the Bigelow-Boal film — formerly titled Killing Bin Laden – as a potentially hot project the night that President Barack Obama interrupted programming to announce that the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center had finally been located and killed. It most certainly has worked out that way. The project was far along at this point, and they were talking to actors like Joel Edgerton even before bin Laden was killed. Sony’s Amy Pascal has been aggressive about the film since that night, and the studio and others heard the pitch from Boal right before buyers headed off to the Cannes Film Festival.
In another Twilight Zone-like twist to Lars von Trier’s bizarre Cannes experience, the Iranian Vice Minister of Culture Javad Shamaqdari sent a letter slamming the festival for “fascist behavior” in declaring the Danish Melancholia director persona non grata after his attempts to be funny in declaring himself a Nazi and saying that he sympathized with Hitler. Von Trier hasn’t had many come to his defense since issuing those dopey comments, but it is odd to get a statement of support from the same government that gave harsh prison sentences and banishment from filmmaking to two of its most important directors, Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. Both had new films added to Cannes as a show of solidarity. Of course, von Trier issued another statement, which doesn’t really clear up anything: