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Toronto: Exclusive Look At ‘Burning Man’

By | Saturday September 10, 2011 @ 1:42pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Tonight is a busy evening for acquisition title premieres, with The Oranges to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Take This Waltz and Rampart all showing for buyers for the first time. Right in the middle of that is the Jonathan Teplitzky-directed Burning Man, the Australian film that stars Matthew Goode as a successful chef at a Bondi Beach restaurant who reacts to personal tragedy with reckless behavior and an inability to connect with his 8-year-old son. A group of six women in his life try to bring him back from the brink. Bojana Novakovic, Essie Davis, Kerry Fox and Rachel Griffiths also star. The film came in high on buyers’ lists, and its first official screening is at 6:15 PM at Bell Lightbox 1. Here’s some exclusive  footage from the film:

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2011 Toronto: ‘Shame’ Will Start Dealmaking Flurry, But Buyers Wait To Be Blown Away

Mike Fleming

Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame,  which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.

Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »

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