UPDATE: Moments after I wrote that Barney’s Version was rumored to be headed for Sony Pictures Classics, the distributor has announced that it acquired U.S. rights to the film. They might not be done with acquisitions: I wrote yesterday about Apparition’s mass layoff and the Terrence Malick-directed Tree of Life being shopped. I’ve heard that SPC’s Michael Barker was seen dining with the film’s financier, Bill Pohlad, on Sunday. Guess SPC’s in the hunt for that prestige picture, as well.
EARLIER: The Hamptons International Film Festival will open October 7 with the U.S. debut of the Paul Giamatti/Dustin Hoffman-starrer Barney’s Version in East Hampton. Closing the fest on October 11 will be the Darren Aronofsky-directed Fox Searchlight release Black Swan, which has created strong festival buzz for Natalie Portman’s performance as an overly ambitious dancer. While it would seem that a festival could only have one opening night film, the Hamptons Fest is claiming two, with the Tom Hooper-directed The King’s Speech bowing in Southampton on Friday, October 8. That picture is being distributed by The Weinstein Company. The Centerpiece film will be the John Madden-directed Miramax holdover The Debt, which stars Sam Worthington and Helen Mirren.
Barney’s Version, which is directed by Richard J. Lewis, hasn’t yet picked up a distributor, though Sony Pictures Classics is rumored as a possible destination.
Julian Schnabel will be at the fest for the U.S. premiere of his film Miral, and James Franco will … Read More »
While everybody wonders when a domestic distribution deal will be locked for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Javier Bardem-starrer Biutiful, another film that premiered at Cannes has gotten a deal. Sony Pictures Classics bought North American rights to Life, Above All, the Oliver Schmitz-directed film that was awarded the Francois Chalais Prize for films dedicated to the values of life affirmation and journalism. An adaptation of the 2005 Allan Stratton novel Chanda’s Secrets, the film focuses on a young South African girl who fights to rescue the people she loves. SPC chiefs Michael Barker and Tom Bernard made the deal with Munich-based sales company Bavaria Film International. Barker and Bernard had a productive Cannes, also acquiring Mike Leigh’s Another Year and the Xavier Beauvois-directed Of Gods and Men, which also unspooled in competition.