EXCLUSIVE: The Jean-Jacques Annaud-directed Day Of The Falcon will be released on VOD on February 1 and in theaters on March 1 in 15 markets. Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto and Tahar Rahim star in the film that is based on the Hans Ruesch novel The Great Thirst and adapted by Jean-Jacques Annaud and Alain Godard. Menno Meyjes penned the screenplay. Image Entertainment picked up U.S. rights for the film at AFM in November. Day Of The Falcon tells the story of honor, greed, betrayal and love between rival kingdoms. Just as the two groups cease to fight after years of bloodshed, oil is discovered between their territories, reigniting their once violent past. It’s now up to their children – young lovers who married in hopes of bringing the families together – to find a way to end the violence and to bring peace to the land. The film was produced by Tarak Ben Ammar and executive produced by Xavier Castano.
Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications has brought the Doha Film Institute aboard as a co-producer of Black Gold, the Jean-Jacques Annaud-directed feature that began production in Tunisia on October 18. DFI, making its first foray into a major international feature production, will provide a mix of equity, services and locations. Even though the $55 million picture is directed by a French helmer, Black Gold is shaping up to be groundbreaking for a film that is back by Arabs with subject matter about them. An adaptation of the Hans Reusch novel The Great Thirst, Black Gold stars Antonio Banderas, Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed and Liya Kebede. The drama is about the rivalry between two Emirs in Arabia in the 1930s, just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms. The film is being earmarked for Christmas, 2011 release, and Warner Bros has signed on to distribute in France, UK, Latin America and the Middle East, while Universal Pictures International will release it in Germany and Spain and Quinta’s Eagle Pictures has Italy.