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.
Cohen Media Group has acquired North American distribution and English-language remake rights to Bérénice Bejo-starrer The Last Diamond. Written and directed by Eric Barbier (The Serpent, Toreros), the French suspense drama centers on paroled jewel thief Simon (Yvan Attal) as he plots the heist of a legendary diamond, put up for auction by the family of gem expert Julia (Bejo). Masquerading as a security consultant, Simon leads the beautiful but vulnerable Julia down a seductive, dangerous path toward a fate neither of them suspected. Jean-Francois Stévenin also stars. The deal was negotiated by CMG EVP John Kochman and Other Angle Pictures’ Olivier Albou. The Last Diamond will have its North American premiere next week at the Colcoa Film Festival in Hollywood. It’s set to open in France at the end of the month followed by an early 2015 release in the U.S.
The City Of Lights, City Of Angels French film festival will run in LA this year from April 21-28. The 18th festival has unveiled its Classics program and the Focus on a Filmmaker sidebar. Cédric Klapisch will be honored with the latter on April 24 with a special presentation of his 2002 hit L’Auberge Espagnole, and the premiere of his latest film Chinese Puzzle, the third in the Auberge trilogy. Romantic comedy Chinese Puzzle (Casse-Tête Chinois in local parlance) was released in France on December 4 to strong notices and sold over 1.4M tickets. It stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou and Cécile de France. Klapisch will discuss his work following the screening. Col-Coa is also paying tribute to Patrice Chéreau who passed away in October 2013. The homage will include a screening of a digitally restored version of 1994′s Queen Margot starring Isabelle Adjani, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Daniel Auteuil. Cohen Media Group is planning a 20th anniversary digital release in the U.S. this year. Also screening are a digitally restored version of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 Beauty And The Beast; a 30th anniversary presentation of Otar Iosseliani’s Favorites Of The Moon (Cohen Media Group is also releasing digitally this year); the restored version of 1960′s Purple Moon directed by René Clément; and a newly restored version of Henri-Georges Cluzot’s 1942 drama L’Assassin Habite Au 21. Finally, Col-Coa …
Cohen Media Group has acquired North American distribution on The Last Of The Unjust, the documentary that’s playing Toronto and will follow with a New York Film Festival berth. The film is directed by Shoah helmer Claude Lanzmann and will be released theatrically next year after a qualifying run for the Oscars. The film reveals a little-known yet fundamental aspect of the Holocaust, and sheds light on the origins of the “Final Solution.” Lanzmann tells the story of the Theresienstadt concentration camp (located in what is now the Czech Republic), where tens of thousands died and many more were held before being sent to their deaths at Treblinka, Auschwitz and other camps.
The central figure in the film is Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Theresienstadt Jewish Council, a fallen hero condemned to exile. He was forced to negotiate day after day from 1938 until the end of the war with Nazi official Adolf Eichmann, who considered Theresienstadt a “model” camp. The director got the idea after interviewing Lanzmann for the 1985 pic Shoah, but didn’t have room for it in that movie. Here, Murmelstein explains his actions and defines his paradoxical role in history.
My Old Lady has a new distributor, a new backer and a new cast member. NYC-based Cohen Media Group has picked up all U.S. and Canadian rights to the comedy-drama directed and adapted by Israel Horovitz from his play. CMG EVP Gary Rubin and Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Steven Farneth negotiated the deal on behalf of the producers. Distributed internationally by Protagonist Pictures, the film now has the unspecified financial backing of BBC Films. Rachael Horovitz and Gary Foster are producing with Nitsa Benchetrit and David Barrot. Co-producing are David Atrakchi, Boris Mendza and Gael Cabouat for Fulldawa Films. Charles Cohen and Daniel Battsek will exec produce for CMG, while BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer and Christine Langan will exec produce for BBC Films. Rounding out the My Old Lady news, Kristin Scott Thomas has joined Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Dominique Pinon in the movie. Kline plays a down-and-out New Yorker who travels to Paris to liquidate a huge apartment he’s inherited. But when he gets there, he learns he can’t take possession until the old woman who’s living in the apartment dies. Taking up the role that Jane Birkin was originally set in, Scott Thomas will play Chloe, daughter of Smith’s Mathilde character. My Old Lady starts shooting in Paris this month. Scott Thomas is repped by CAA and by Independent Talent Group in the UK.
The gang from L’Auberge Espagnole and Russian Dolls is getting back together for director Cédric Klapisch‘s third film in the series, Chinese Puzzle. New York-based Cohen Media Group has acquired all U.S. rights to the romantic comedy-drama which it will release theatrically in early 2014. Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Kelly Reilly, Cécile De France and Kevin Bishop reunite for the New York-set film that sees Duris’ heartsick Xavier head to the Big Apple after the mother of his children moves there with the kids. Klapisch had a hit with 2002′s charming L’Auberge Espagnole which was a breakout role for Reilly and one of Tautou’s first pictures following the global success of Amélie. De France won César awards for L’Auberge and also for the 2005 sequel Russian Dolls. Ce Qui Me Meut’s Bruno Levy produced Chinese Puzzle which is co-produced by Studiocanal, France 2 Cinéma and Belgium’s Panache Productions and La Cie Cinématographique – RTBF. Studiocanal is selling internationally. Cohen Media Group’s John Kochman negotiated the deal with Studiocanal’s Vanessa Saal.
New York (April 30, 2013) – Cohen Media Group has acquired all U.S. release rights to MADEMOISELLE C., it was announced today by Chairman/CEO Charles S. Cohen. The film about former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief and French fashion stylist Carine Roitfeld, will be released theatrically in major U.S. markets in the Spring of 2014. Carine Roitfeld is the most renowned French fashion editor on the planet along with her opposite number at American Vogue, Anna Wintour. During her 10 years as editor-in-chief at Vogue Paris she was noted for her successes and scandals (“porno chic” was her creation). Last year, Roitfeld left Vogue Paris with the greatest challenge to date, create a new fashion magazine: CR. Having been granted unprecedented access, this documentary follows the making of a magazine from the first editorial meeting through to the extravagant launch party in New York.
Cohen Media Group acquired U.S. distribution rights to Breathe In, the Drake Doremus-scripted and -directed drama that stars Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan. The film was one of a couple Sundance pics about a teacher who enters into an illicit relationship with a student. Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling of Super Crispy Entertainment produced, along with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal of Indian Paintbrush, which also financed the film. QED International remains on board handling international distribution. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. CMG is gearing up for a full theatrical release in fourth-quarter 2013.
The competition titles here in Berlin have so far failed to make much noise, but things may be picking up. Yesterday, there were cheers for Sebastian Lelio’s Chilean film Gloria, and today comes word that Cohen Media Group has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Emmanuelle Bercot’s competition entry Elle S’En Va (On My Way) ahead of its Friday screening. The comedic drama stars Catherine Deneuve as a former beauty pageant winner who’s now a restaurateur facing a failed relationship and a failing business, until one day she ups and hits the road on an adventure with her ten-year-old grandson. Elle Driver is handling worldwide sales on the picture written by Bercot and Jérôme Tonnerre and produced by Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier. Last year, Cohen Media acquired Elle Driver’s opening night competition film here, Benôit Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen. The On My Way deal was negotiated by Cohen Media’s Charles S. Cohen and Elle Driver’s Adeline Fontan Tessaur.
Daniel Battsek ran Miramax Films after Harvey and Bob Weinstein split from Disney and most recently was president of National Geographic Films until the LA office was shuttered in December 2011 and he went with it. Now he joins Cohen Media Group and will work with chairman and CEO Charles Cohen, whose company is behind Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves, Spain’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar hopeful. Here’s the release:
New York, NY (December 12, 2012) – Cohen Media Group’s Chairman/CEO Charles S. Cohen announced today that industry veteran Daniel Battsek is joining CMG as President. Mr. Battsek will work alongside Mr. Cohen and help to oversee acquisition, production and distribution of CMG titles, as well as the vast Cohen Film Collection of landmark movies (previously known as The Rohauer Library).
Spain’s entry in the Oscars’ Foreign-Language Film category is a re-imagined version of the Snow White fairy tale. Described as an homage to the black-and-white Golden Age of Europe’s silent cinema, Blancanieves stars Macarena García as Carmen and Maribdel Verdú as her stepmother Encarna. The movie directed by Pablo Berger opens January 25th via Cohen Media Group:
Frozen River producer Charles S. Cohen has acquired rights to Ben MacIntyre‘s bestseller Double Cross: The True Story Of The D-Day Spies, with plans for his production-distribution company Cohen Media Group to turn it into an international miniseries for cable and broadcast. The final installment of MacIntyre’s World War II trilogy is based on the efforts of five Allied operatives who specialized in turning German spies into double agents. They greatly aided the success of the D-Day assault and eventual Allied victory. The first two books in the trilogy from MacIntyre, an editor at the Times Of London, were Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat; Crown published Double Cross in July. Stephen Dembitzer negotiated the rights deal on behalf of Cohen and CAA’s Robert Bookman on behalf of MacIntyre.
Liz Mackiewicz will be responsible for marketing and licensing films in the Cohen Film Collection. She’ll report directly to Cohen Media Group Chairman/CEO Charles S. Cohen. “The revival of interest in classic films and the implementation of new film technologies, creates an exciting opportunity for the Cohen Film Collection films to be seen for the first time on Blu-ray DVD and on VOD platforms”, said Mackiewicz. She has held similar positions with Los Angeles based Arclight Films, Media 8 Entertainment and First Look Studios.|
Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves is Spain’s foreign-language Oscar entry, making it two consecutive years in which the Academy may have a chance to honor a silent black-and-white film. The Arcadia Pictures production is a re-telling of Snow White that’s set in 1920s Spain. It recently won the Special Jury Prize in San Sebastian and a best actress nod for Macarena Garcia. Cohen Media Group has shown a predilection for European art house fare and this title adds to its growing silent film collection. The company recently acquired the Rohauer Film Library with works of such pre-talkie talent as D.W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks and Buster Keaton. The Blancanieves deal was negotiated by CMG’s Gary Rubin and Dreamcatchers co-founder Marina Fuentes.
The deal, negotiated by Charles S. Cohen, Chairman/CEO of Cohen Media Group and Adeline Fontan Tessaur co/director of Elle Driver, was confirmed today by Mr. Cohen. “We are thrilled to distribute the internationally renowned director Costa Gavras’ compelling, new financial thriller.”
West Beirut and Lila Says director Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack will have its world premiere in Toronto next month. Cohen Media Group and Focus Features’ alternative distribution arm, Focus World, will jointly handle the film’s North American release in 2013. Cohen will take theatrical, DVD and sales and Focus World will handle all digital media and TV rights. (The film was at one time in development at Focus.) Based on the best-selling book by Yasmina Khadra, the drama focuses on a Palestinian doctor who discovers uncomfortable truths about his wife following a suicide bombing. Doueiri and Joelle Touma wrote the script. Jean Bréhat and Rachid Bouchareb are producers. John Wells also has a producing credit. A 3B production, The Attack is co-produced by Douri Film, UAG, Scope Pictures and Random House Films.
After recently acquiring Berlin Film Festival opener Farewell, My Queen, indie distributor Cohen Media Group has picked up The Other Son (Le Fils De L’Autre) for the US. The EFM title is being handled by Paris-based Cité Films. Directed by Lorraine Levy, the film stars Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, Jules Sitruck and Mehdi Dehbi. Written by Natalie Saugeon, Levy and Noam Fitoussi, it tells the story of an Israeli teen who discovers he was switched at birth with the child of a Palestinian family on the West Bank. The lives of the two families are suddenly shattered by the revelation that forces them to reconsider their identities, values and beliefs. Deal was negotiated by Cohen chairman/CEO Charles S. Cohen and Cité managing director Raphael Berdugo.
EXCLUSIVE: Independent distribution outfit Cohen Media Group has acquired Berlin Film Festival opener Farewell, My Queen, for U.S. distribution. The Benoît Jacquot period drama stars Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux and Virginie Ledoyen and premieres tonight (Thursday) in competition. Story is adapted from the Chantal Thomas novel and set during the first 3 days of the French Revolution as seen from the perspective of Marie Antoinette’s private reader at Versailles. The deal was negotiated by Cohen exec VP Gary Rubin and Adeline Fontan Tessaur of Elle Driver which is handling international sales. This is a particularly poignant Berlinale for the Elle Driver crew which first came to the festival in 2008 and is celebrating its 5th time out with the opening night film.
Cohen Media Group, the independent distribution company which at Toronto acquired the Luc Besson-directed The Lady, has hired Mike Rudnitsky to run its distribution arm and advise in acquisitions and marketing. Charles S. Cohen made the announcement this morning. Rudnitsky has held similar titles at Alliance Films, The Weinstein Company, MGM and Miramax. He had been a consultant for Cohen Media Group since last summer. The company also hired Carla Ornelas to be vice president of theatrical distribution. She’s worked at Paramount, Miramax and Sony Pictures Classics.