Before Midnight director Richard Linklater was awarded a special surprise Berlinale Camera trophy on Monday night. The film festival began awarding Cameras in 1986 to people or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted. The award was presented to Linklater at the official screening of Before Midnight which has sold out internationally during the EFM. Linklater’s first film in the Julie Delpy-Ethan Hawke trilogy, Before Sunrise, won the Silver Bear for best director in 1995. He then brought sequel Before Sunset to the fest in 2004. …
XYZ Films is hanging a sales shingle. XYZ International will handle world sales on some of XYZ’s in-house titles and on third-party projects that are filmmaker-driven, elevated genre pics with broad commercial appeal. It will also handle North American sales on foreign films. The first slate will be unveiled for Cannes. XYZ partner Nate Bolotin will oversee. XYZ’s productions include The Raid and The Raid 2 and Killers. It’s also exec producing Aguas Rojas which Participant Media is financing.
Submarine Entertainment has sold all distribution rights to Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open to First Run Features in the U.S. and Films We Like in Canada. The deals were negotiated by David Koh, Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine along with Executive Producer, Stanley Buchthal of Dakota Group Ltd. along with Marc Mauceri & Seymour Wishman of First Run Features and Ron Mann of Films We Like. First Run Features and Films We Like will coordinate a release later in the year. Directed by Daniel Young, the docu film is based on moving interviews given by the writer shortly before his death. It features Bowles and his wife writer Jane Bowles, Gore Vidal, John Waters, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ira Cohen, Edmund White, William Burroughs and Francis Bacon, among others. A HesseGreutert Film Production, Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open is executive produced by This Brunner, Stanley Buchthal, Andres Bruetsch, and Simon Hesse. Read More »
We’re four days into the EFM and so far action has been fairly slow. But just this afternoon, The Weinstein Co. picked up U.S. rights to IM Global’s Blood Sisters: Vampire Academy, one of the hotter projects coming into the market. It’s not a given that the deal will kickstart further movement, but other projects understood to be generating domestic interest include Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco, repped by CAA, and Diana, with Naomi Watts, which Embankment is handling.
Other domestic deals include Sony Pictures Classics‘ acquisition of The Invisible Woman, a film to star Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones and Fiennes’ English Patient partner Kristin Scott Thomas. Fiennes also directs. And, The Weinstein Co. announced a deal for Wong Kar Wai’s opening night (out of competition) film The Grandmaster at the start of the fest. It’s fair to say that Berlin is not traditionally about the kind of big business that’s seen in Sundance, Toronto or Cannes. Read More »
What is it about Berlin and Jennifer Aniston? This is the third project being sold here at the EFM that involves the actress (the other two are Convention and an untitled Elmore Leonard project that’s … Read More »
Kathy Bates and Danny Glover are attached to star in The Great Gilly Hopkins, the bigscreen adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Award-winning novel. Stephen Herek is directing the story of a wisecracking girl who moves from … Read More »
Refresh for latest…
Arclight Films has acquired crime-romance project The Lookalike which wrapped in New Orleans in time for Berlin. The cast includes John Corbett, Justin Long (who is also aboard as producer), Scottie Thompson, Jerry O’Connell, Gina Gershon, Gillian Jacobs and Luiz Guzman. The Lookalike is the tale of a drug lord’s obsession with a woman and the complications it presents for his gangland buddies who unexpectedly have to find a lookalike. The film is directed by Richard Gray who’s also a producer, and written by Michelle Davis-Gray. Clay Epstein negotiated on behalf of Arclight Films with Gray’s Yellow Brick Films. Arclight is presenting the film to buyers in Berlin.
Myriad Pictures is here pre-selling Weightless, the first directing gig for Oscar-nominated Monster’s Ball screenwriter Milo Addica. Jessica Alba is in negoatiations to star as Maysie Overall, an astronaut who causes a fatal motorcycle accident before heading off on her first space mission. When she survives the crash of her space shuttle, her conscience drives her to seek out her own victim’s family and falling for his brother, a cop, in the process. Myriad’s Kirk D’Amico will produce with Steve Norris, alongside the UK’s Apollo Productions and its partners, Pinewood Studios and Double Negative.
Fortissimo Films will sell international (outside North America and China) on Jeremy Lin documentary Linsanity. CAA is repping the U.S. on the movie about the basketball player’s meteoric rise which just premiered in Sundance. Evan Jackson Leong directed and Christopher C. Chen of Endgame Entertainment, Brian Yang of 408 Films and Allen Lu produced.
Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones is getting underway in South Africa with a cast that now includes Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit McPhee. Paltrow directs and wrote the story about a young boy struggling to protect his family in a world where water has become the most precious and fastest dwindling resource on the planet. Tristan Orpen Lynch produces through Subotica and Michael Auret produces through Spier Films. 6 SALES and The Exchange are handling international rights. UTA is repping North America. Peter Garde, Marina Fuentes Arredonda, Quickfire’s James Atherton and Jan Pace, and Brian O’Shea are exec producers.
Read More »
Before the European Film Market kicked off today in Berlin, sales execs had a handful of issues on their minds. As usual, the weather and the EFM’s position on a jammed calendar were concerns. The length of time that packages are taking to come together was another, bigger one.
Prior to arriving in Germany, a refrain from sales companies was that this year the time between the AFM, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Sundance and Berlin was more condensed and had an impact on dealmaking. Hollywood agencies didn’t reopen after the holidays until January 7, and with a frenzied Sundance falling a mere 10 days later followed by Berlin 10 days after that, it made for some pretty hefty juggling. The Solution’s Lisa Wilson told me agents were saying, “Contact us after Sundance.” But at a week before Berlin, she said, “There’s a limit to how late we can go.” Read More »
As local-language movies take on increasing importance for U.S. firms, Participant PanAmerica expects to develop and co-finance 10-12 Spanish-language films a year under a deal with Mexico’s Canana, Chile’s Fabula and Colombia’s Dynamo. The five-year agreement follows Participant Media‘s recent co-financing of Canana’s Chavez and Fabula’s No, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film. The company is also in talks with Dynamo to finance supernatural thriller Aguas Rojas, which Spain’s Apaches is co-producing. Participant CEO Jim Berk said the deal will enable the company to expand its reach into the fast growing Spanish-speaking market and give it access to a talent pool of “fresh and highly creative filmmakers who are looking to explore important contemporary issues in exciting ways.” The initiative will be led by Jonathan King, EVP of narrative production for Participant. Canana, founded in 2005 by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz, and recently joined by partner and CEO Julian Levin, has credits that include Sin Nombre and Miss Bala. No director Pablo Larraín Read More »
Spotlight Pictures has taken all international rights to Julia Dyer’s The Playroom starring Oscar-nominee John Hawkes (The Sessions) and Molly Parker (Dexter, The Firm). Spotlight will handle overseas sales at the EFM. The … Read More »
Exclusive Media has closed a deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions for Parkland in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Latin America. The hot EFM title, which has Open Road in talks to distribute domestically, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s another package that’s come together just ahead of the EFM. K5 International will start sales and CAA and ICM Partners will co-rep North American rights in Berlin on Convention, the second feature from A Many Splintered Thing director Justin Reardon. Jennifer Aniston, Mark Duplass and Ben Kingsley are attached to star in the romantic comedy that shoots this summer. A Charlie Kaufman-esque mind-bender, the premise finds mild-mannered Paul (Duplass) and his feisty sister Abby (Aniston) setting out to change the box storage world with Paul’s invention of the 5-sided box. Kingsley plays a maniacal box magnate who seeks to thwart Paul and Abby’s success. Meanwhile, the invention also risks ripping a giant hole in the fabric of the universe. When Paul realizes the damage he’s causing, he races against time to put the galaxy back in order and save the girl of his dreams.
Reardon is best known as the co-creator and art director for Budweiser’s Wassup! and Howyadoin’ campaigns. He’s just finished production on his feature debut, A Many Splintered Thing, with Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Giovanni Ribisi, Topher Grace and Luke Wilson. Reardon will shoot Convention in the summer from a script by Christopher Painter who’s done TV work on toons like The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Tom And Jerry Tales. Paul Schiff (Rushmore) and Tai Duncan (Red Machine, The Air I Breathe) are producing.
K5 Partners Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur say, “We have an absolute dream cast for this dream comedy concept. It brings to mind films like Being John Malkovich, and Eternal Sunshine, and in Justin Reardon we have a wildly talented and totally visionary director.” Read More »
In a bid to build a new franchise akin to its Underworld series, Lakeshore Entertainment has secured rights to Jonathan and Joshua Luna’s graphic novel, The Sword. The female-led revenge story is divided into four … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paradigm is repping domestic and Bankside Films is handling international on The Philosophers at the EFM. John Huddles directs the Indonesia-set tale of an international school where a brilliant but mysterious philosophy teacher challenges … Read More »
Refresh for latest…
Content Hooks ‘Rising Star’
Content Film will handle sales on romantic comedy/drama Rising Star at the EFM. Marty Lang won the Best Premier at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival last year with the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The EFM doesn’t start until Thursday, but the market is already percolating with a bevy of star-driven packages. While many folks are lamenting the time it takes to fortify deals, there’s nevertheless been a flurry of projects coming together with talent attached in just the past few days (Johnny Depp in Black Mass; Jeremy Renner in Kill The Messenger; Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins in Solace…). The latest one I’m hearing that’s driving strong interest is Dark Places, the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel that had Amy Adams in talks back in May. Adams has since fallen out and I understand from myriad sources that Charlize Theron is orbiting the story of a woman who, at 7 years old, survived the brutal massacre of her family and testified against her brother as the murderer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club, a secret society obsessed with solving notorious crimes, brings her to question and confront the truth of what took place that day.
French sales outfit Kinology was initially lined up to handle international rights but is no longer involved and U.S. and European sales agents have been vying hard for the film. The latest I’ve heard is that it’s landed at Exclusive Media. Theron’s involvement is not locked, but there is interest on both sides and a deal would involve her producing through her Denver & Delilah with partner Beth Kono. The roughly $15M Dark Places, directed by French helmer Gilles Paquet-Brenner (Sarah’s Key), has been eyeing a March start. Stéphane Marsil is also producing through Paris-based Hugo Productions. Read More »
Refresh for latest…
Bruce Greenwood Joins Atom Egoyan’s ‘Queen Of The Night’
The European Film Market kicks off at the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday and we’ll be posting rolling briefs on a daily basis from today and … Read More »
Miriam Segal’s Good Films has acquired rights to LAbyrinth, Randall Sullivan’s 2002 book that chronicles detective Russell Poole’s late-1990s investigation into ties between hip-hop, street gangs and the LAPD. The book, whose full title is LAbyrinth: A Detective … Read More »
With eOne‘s $230M acquisition of rival Canadian giant Alliance Films completed earlier this month, the executive structure in the UK, where the companies overlapped, is coming into somewhat clearer focus. On the eve of the European Film Market in Berlin, eOne today said that Alliance SVP Worldwide Acquisitions and Productions, Robert Walak, is leaving the company to pursue other ventures. The well-liked London-based exec had been at Alliance since 2003 and oversaw the acquisitions of such important titles as The Twilight Saga series in Spain and The King’s Speech and The Woman In Black for the UK. Also leaving is Jon Bourdillon, who headed up home entertainment at eOne. He will be replaced by Ken McMahon of Alliance subsidiary Momentum. Read More »