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Cannes Film Festival: Sales Round-Up

Mike Fleming

The 2011 Cannes Film Festival doesn’t get under way until next week, but the market is already getting busy. Sierra/Affinity, which will be handling such titles as the Gavin Hood-directed adaptation of Ender’s Game, has bolstered its sales force by hiring Jonathan Kier as exec veep of sales. Kier was senior veep of international sales and distribution for The Weinstein Company. Sierra/Affinity principals Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg will be handling product for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, OddLot, Bold Films and Incentive Filmed Entertainment. …

Paul WS Anderson is re-teaming with his Three Musketeers collaborators Constantin and Summit on Pompeii, a period pic which builds drama around the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. That was a devastating explosion estimated to have been more powerful than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The subject matter, and its impact on Rome, is something James Cameron has long wanted to cover in grand detail, after his Lightstorm optioned the Charles Pellegrino book Ghosts of Vesuvius, with plans to do the same kind of thorough forensic recreation as he gave to Titanic. Anderson, who raced and beat a rival Musketeers movie, will certainly get under way first, as Summit will sell the movie in Cannes. …

Camelot Entertainment Group has acquired foreign distribution rights to Norman, a coming-of-age story about a high school student dealing with his father’s terminal illness. Jonathan Segal directs and the film stars Dan Byrd, Emily VanCamp, Adam Goldberg and Richard Jenkins. … Read More »

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Franchise-Hungry Summit Plays ‘Ender’s Game’ With Filmmaker Gavin Hood

By | Thursday April 28, 2011 @ 2:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is acquiring U.S. rights to a live-action adaptation of the Orson Scott Card science fiction novel Ender’s Game, with Gavin Hood set to direct his script. Summit, which is winding down its Twilight Saga series, is co-financing Ender’s Game and eyeing it as an opportunity to hatch another youth-driven series, with protagonists that are slightly younger than the kids in the upcoming The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s another opportunity to discover young talent, because the protagonists in the film are just entering their teens. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are producing through their K/O Paper Products banner, along with Odd Lot’s Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough, the author and Lynn Hendee. Digital Domain is also an equity partner. The film will be shopped at the upcoming 2011 Cannes Film Festival, with Nick Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity brokering offshore deals. The plan is to put the film into production by early next year.

Ender’s Game is a seminal futuristic novel that Card originated as a short story in 1977 and then turned into a 1985 book that won both the Hugh and Nebula Awards and spawned a series. The storyline begins on Earth after an alien attack, when gifted children are recruited by a government desperate to fight back. The kids are taught a competitive game that’s a cross between the Quidditch matches of Harry Potter and the Jedi light saber battles from Star Wars. Only the best and brightest will be chosen. A young boy emerges as a genius strategist, and the planet’s best hope to destroy the alien Formic race. Read More »

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Nick Meyer’s New Company To Broker Foreign Deals For OddLot And Bold Films

By | Wednesday January 5, 2011 @ 3:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

LOS ANGELES — January 5, 2011 – Capitalizing on the ever-evolving global film marketplace, Sierra Pictures and Affinity International announced today the creation of a new sales company called Sierra / Affinity. The new entity will represent sales of third party films as well as act as the exclusive sales agent for films developed and produced by OddLot Entertainment, Bold Films and Sierra Pictures and its partner, Incentive Filmed Entertainment. Sierra / Affinity will offer commercial films designed to appeal to both the North American marketplace as well as top markets around the globe.

Sierra / Affinity will be run by CEO Nick Meyer with his partner Marc Schaberg who will serve as the company’s COO and CFO. OddLot’s founder Gigi Pritzker and Bold Films’ founder Michel Litvak will serve on Sierra / Affinity’s three-person Board along with Meyer. The new company will capitalize on an economy of scale by harnessing the development, production and financing capabilities of respected producers OddLot and Bold and combining them with Sierra’s sales, sourcing and financing infrastructure. The relationship between the companies also offers co-financing opportunities on film projects.

“The creation of Sierra / Affinity offers the marketplace a new world class sales organization that is primed to represent third party product as well as films developed produced and financed both jointly and independently from Sierra, OddLot and Bold,” said Meyer. “Gigi and Michel have produced many notable films and their companies continue to remain at the forefront

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