Thursday, September 24, 2009

Toronto Rights RoundUp and Other Fall Festivals

The Toronto and Other Fall Festivals Rights RoundUp list looks quite sizeable for what is claimed to have been a quiet festival season. Though it's true business down, the large number of acquisitions has not been viewed as such and yet is the result of a new trend which has been sneaking up over the past few years and has now taken hold. Distributors and sales agents now acquire BEFORE the festivals rather than during. It developed out of Cannes' prescreenings which have mostly been discontinued, and it could go so far as to change the pre-Sundance adage NOT to show the film to anyone before Sundance.

This Rights RoundUp for acquisitions executives, distributors, international sales agents, investors and producers is different from my previous RR Reports. It is no longer a report based on data and FilmFinders is out of the equation. This listing of rights acquired BEFORE the actual festival, DURING the festival and for a couple of months AFTER can also be found on MDbPro who acquired FilmFinders in 2008 and where SydneysBuzz resides on the landing page and on IMDbPro's News Desk. Whenever possible, the list is alphabetical by international sales agent (linked to IMDbPro), and the ISA's titles are also linked to IMDbPro.

If you do not yet subscribe to IMDbPro, I would advise plunking down $100 for a year's subscription. You'll get more than your money's worth I promise. By going into Pro, you will be able to see all the territorial distributors for a particular title, and if you care to, you can see their entire lineups. You can do the same with the sales agents and the producers attached to the titles in IMDbPro.

Here is a link to IndieWire's list of 147 Films For Sale at Toronto. It is interesting and fun to see which of these get picked up, by whom, for where and when. -- Sydney

The recent post Toronto pickups are included below (Creation, Get Low, I Am Love, Lebanon, The Art of the Steal) Here are the Toronto , Venice and San Sebastian pick-ups:

Alain Vannier and Orly Films licensed Alain Resnais' Wild Grass (Les Herbes folles) to Sony Pictures Classics for U.S., Australian and New Zealand (Pre-Toronto pick-up).

Autlook licensed Nobody's Perfect to Lorber for North America. Ventura Film has German rights.

Bavaria International licensed The Anarchist's Wife to Alexander Film for Canada.

Beta Cinema licensed John Rabe to Strand for US 10 months after its premiere in Berlin. Other distributors include Majestic-Filmverleih for Germany, 01 Rai Cinema for Italy, DeA Planeta Home Entertainment and Antena 3 Televisión for Spain, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) for Austrian TV, Cinemien and Homescreen for Benelux.

Bleiberg Entertainment's $3 million thriller Kirot directed by Danny Lerner and starring Bond girl Olga Kurylenko opening Toronto's City to City program, was sold to 14 territories before shooting began, in partnership with Israeli broadcaster Keshet Broadcasting and United King (the country's biggest distributor and French producer Edouard Douek (who controls all rights in France).

Celluloid Dreams (Pre-Toronto pick-ups) licensed Vincere to IFC for North America. Lebanon went to Metrodome Distribution for the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Metrodome partnered with Rialto Distribution for its release in Australia and New Zealand. Bim acquired Italian rights to Lebanon in Venice. Sony Pictures Classics picked up Lebanon for US after Toronto.

CJ Entertainment has licensed in a Pre-Toronto pick-up Bong Joon-Ho’s Cannes Un Certain Regard hit Mother as well as the director’s 2000 film Barking Dogs Never Bite to Magnolia for North America. Mother will screen in official selection at Toronto and the New York Film festival before Magnolia releases it in theatres in early 2010. The film is South Korea’s foreign language Oscar submission and stars Kim Hye-ja as a woman who dedicates her life to proving the innocence of her son whom she believes has been wrongly accused of murder. Magnolia’s senior vice-president Tom Quinn and head of business affairs Chris Matson brokered the deal with CJ Entertainment’s senior vice-president Kini S Kim and director of international sales Eric Kim. Magnolia and Bong previously collaborated on the 2007 release of The Host. Magnolia executives said they were “excited to be the American home for the film-maker, one of the most dynamic and exciting on the world stage today.” In November 2008 Mother went to Bitters End for Japan whose release was the biggest opening of the year, as it was in Korea. It s also Japan's submission for the Academy's Best Foreign Language Film Nomination for 2009.

ContentFilm licensed Fish Tank to IFC for North America (Pre-Toronto pick-up). ContentFilm International has acquired worldwide sales rights to Jason Lehel’s Gaia, which will have its world premiere in Toronto’s Visions section. CoProduction Office licensed Police, Adjective to IFC for No. America and A Town Called Panic to Zeitgeist Films for US(Pre-Toronto pick-ups). Lourdes, a critic and crowd pleasing Venice premiere has been picked up by Palisades Tartan for US, NFP Distribution in Germany, Alta Films in Spain, Gussi Films in Mexico and Greek distributor Nutopia . The film won the FIPRESCI international critics prize in Venice, two religious awards -- the Signis and the La Navicella -- and the Brian Award, given by the union of atheists and agnostics. It screens at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, and has now sold to 16 territories worldwide including Cinecittà (Italy), Filmmuseum Distributie (Netherlands), Lumière Productie (Belgium), MTU Otaku (Estonia), NetXenix(Switzerland), TFM Distribution (France). Shirin Neshat’s Venice Silver Lion winner Women Without Men, sold to 10 territories in Venice including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela (Gussi Films), Belgium (Lumiere), Brazil, Italy (BIM Distribuzione), Colombia, The Netherlands (Filmmuseum), Russia and Ukraine (Sota Cinema), Germany ( TV- ZDF/Arte ).

Glen Basner’s FilmNation sold out international territories on The Joneses that world premiered in Toronto. Rights have gone to Entertainment One in the UK, UGC Distribution in France, Wild Bunch in Germany, Svensk Filmindustri (SF) in Scandinavia, Luxor Entertainment in CIS, Sun Distribution in Latin America, Italia Films for the Middle East, Shani Films for Israel, Shark Specialist Group (SSG) for Taiwan, Multivision Multimedia India for Indonesia and Singapore, and Sahamongkol for Thailand and TVA in Canada. Further deals to conclude in the next few days are for Italy and Eastern Europe. There is strong interest from buyers in Spain, Australia and New Zealand. International Creative Management (ICM) is holding talks with several US buyers and has arranged screenings in Los Angeles. November 5, 2009 deal closedwit Roadside Attractions for US!

Fine Cut licensed Chaw to Optimum Releasing for the UK. It has already sold to Ascot Elite Home Entertainment for Austria, German speaking Switzerland and Germany, IOF Ent for India, J-Bics for Thailand, Visicom Surya for Singapore, to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Released in South Korea on July 15 by Lotte Entertainment, it grossed $9.3 million from 1.8 million admissions nationwide.

Fortissimo licensed Life During Wartime to Archibald Enterprise Film for Italy just a day before the film it won the Golden Osella for best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival. The film has previously sold to A-Film Distribution (Benelux), Lusomundo (Portugal), Tuck (former Yugoslavia), Monolith (Poland), Imagem Filmes (Brazil), HBO Latin America, Shani Films (Israel), D Productions (Turkey) and Budapest Film (Hungary). The film has its North American premiere Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival. Just before Toronto, Fortssimo acquired worldwide rights, excluding Japan, to live-action 3D thriller The Shock Labyrinth, international rights to Yonfan's Prince of Tears, Demme’s Neil Young Trunk Show, Road, Movie .

GK Films (Graham King) licensed Young Victoria to Apparition for North America (Pre-Toronto pick-up). Alliance will take Canada as a part of its new output deal with Apparition. Apparition also has an output relationship with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) for all domestic ancillary rights. Other distributors include Audio Visual Enterprises (Greece), Metropolitan Filmexport (France), Nordisk Film (Norway), Paradiso Entertainment (Benelux), Shaw Organisation (Singapore), Aurum Producciones (Spain), Momentum Pictures (UK), Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (Scandinavia), Pinema (Turkey).

Hanway has licensed Creation to Newmarket Films for US, D Films for Canada. Canadian film distribution veterans Jim Sherry and Tony Cianciotta just launched their new boutique outfit, D Films. Sherry is president of the company and Cianciotta is the director of acquisitions. Triage has already been licensed to 01 Rai Cinema (Italy), Canal+ (France), Alta Films (Spain), FS Film Oy (Finland), Odeon (Greece), Odeon (Romania) (Pre-Toronto pick-ups).

IDG Media International of China's Ted Perkins licensed City of Life and Death to National Geographic for North America (Pre-Toronto pick-up).

IM Global has licensed A Single Man to The Weinstein Company for North America and Germany reportedly for an amount estimated between $1 million and $2 million. North American rights were repped by CAA and IM Global internationally. The pic will be released in the fall for an awards run. Focus and Miramax were bidding against Weinstein. Further deals are with Icon in the UK and Australia, Mars in France, Aurum Films in Spain, Scanbox Entertainment in Scandinavia, Alliance in Canada, Village Roadshow Greece S.A. in Greece, Multivision in Singapore, and Studio Solutions in Taiwan, Prisvídeo in Portugal, Nu Metro for South Africa, Forum Film for Israel, Gulf Film for the Middle East, and PVR Pictures for India. Further deals are expected to close deals with Japan, Italy and remaining territories after the second screening on Tuesday afternoon.

K5 International's Get Low went to SPC in a deal brokered by CAA.

Latido licensed The Secret of Her Eyes to Mexico (Gussi Films), Scandinavia (Sandrew Metronome), UK (Metrodome Distribution) , Australia (Rialto Entertainment)France (Pretty Pictures). As coproducers Distribution Company has Argentina rights and Alta Classics has Spain.

Les Films du Losange licensed Le Pere de mes enfants (The Father of My Children) to IFC for US (Pre-Toronto pick-up). In Venice New Wave Films, the company run by Robert Beeson and Pam Engel, picked up UK rights to 36 vues Du Pic Saint Loup (Around A Small Mountain). New Wave’s recent cinema releases have included Sleep Furiously, 35 Shots of Rum and Tricks. Beeson and Engel were among the very few British buyers in attendance at Venice last week.

Mandate Pictures licensed The Good Guy, the Tribeca premiering film to Roadside Attractions for US and will be released the theatrically in March 2010. Mandate will do international sales and Lionsgate will take North American rights to the Relativity Managment financed including P&A and produced feature Knockout, Steven Soderbergh's next film.

Media Asia Group has licensed Accident to ARP for France, Palisades Tartan for US, Dream Movies took Australian theatrical rights and Sky City Cinema took theatrical for New Zealand, and Rialto Entertainment for video and TV for both Australia and New Zealand. City of Life and Death (aka Nanking Nanking) went to Spain’s Karma Films and to Russia’s Carmen Films, and UK’s High Fliers Distribution during Cannes. Rialto also acquired Australia and New Zealand rights to Fire Of Conscience, while Dream Movies took Australia and New Zealand rights to Once A Gangster.

Menemsha Films will also handle worldwide representation and has picked up North American rights for Shameless from Czech producer Rudolf Biermann.

MK2 is selling To the Sea which will have its world premiere screening in Toronto's Visions sidebar on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Dogtooth went to Kino International for US. MK2 Diffusion has French rights.

Myriad Pictures and Cinetic Media have licensed Hampton's premiering film Uncertaintyto IFC for US. Maximum Film Distribution has Canadian rights. Myriad Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to SXSW film Women in Trouble.

Nu Image licensed Bad Lieutenant to First Look for North America (Pre-Toronto pick-up), to Latinameican Theatrical Group for Latin American TV, 01 Distribution (Italy), Distribution Company (Argentina), CatchPlay (Taiwan), IPA Asia Pacific (Thailand), Imagem Filmes (Brazil), Metropolitan Filmexport (France), Odeon (Greece), Prorom Media-Trade (Romania), VVS Films (Canada), Wide Pictures (Spain).

Odd Lot International has sold North American rights to B-Girl to Screen Media Films as well as to Anchor Bay Entertainment for the UK, Universum Film (UFA) for Germany, Icon Film Distribution for Australia, Coral Pictures for South Korea, Spentzos Films for Greece, and VC Multimedia for Portugal, Gulf Film for Middle East, Nu Metro Productions for South Africa, Mars Production for Turkey, Ad Matalon & Co. for Israel, Kino Swiat for Poland, AQS for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Prorom Media Trade for Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and former Yugoslavia. Cinesky took airline rights.

Paramount Vantage has licensed Ondine to Latinamerican Theatrical Group for Latin America, holding North American rights for itself, RCV Film Distribution for Benelux, and Wide Pictures for Spain. Park licensed Dead Man Running to Revolver for UK and Ireland. It will be released in late October and was originally picked up for UK distribution by Pathé but following its decision to scale back its theatrical arm, Revolver has taken over the project.

Point Media Group has acquired worldwide rights to The Be All and End All, scheduled to premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival and was one of the buzz titles in the London UK Film Focus Breakthrough section.

Pyramide International sold New Wave Films UK rights to Hadewijch in Venice. North American rights were picked up by IFC Films ahead of its US debut at the New York Film Festival, and after its screening at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Blue Beard went to Strand for US ahead of its NY Film Festival premiere.

RAI International licensed I Am Love to Magnolia Pictures for North America and the 2007 tv movie Caravaggio to Alexander Film for Canada.

SND has taken world sales on Giuseppe Capotondi’s La Doppia Ora (Pre-Toronto pick-up).

StudioCanal licensed Chloe for Canada to E1 Entertainment in a pre-Toronto pick-up. Canada. E1 plans to release the film at Christmas. US went to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG). StudioCanal will distribute the film directly in France, and in the UK and Germany, through its wholly owned affiliates Optimum Releasing and Kinowelt Filmverleih. Additionally, StudioCanal secured distributors in other territories around the world both prior to, during and after the film’s Toronto premiere. These include E1 in Canada, Eagle Pictures in Italy, Pony Canyon in Japan, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Mars Entertainment in Korea, SPI International in Eastern Europe, Gussi Films in Mexico, PlayArte Filmes in Brazil, NuMetro Distribution in South Africa, Odeon in Greece, Gulf Film in The Middle East, and
Filmes Lusomundo in Portugal. A distribution deal in Spain is also imminent.

Summit licensed Tree of Life to Apparition for North America. It also went to 01 Distribuzione for Italy, Belga Films for Benelux, EuropaCorp for France, Icon Film Distribution for Australia, NZ and UK, Odeon for Greece, Tripictures for Spain and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Worldwide Acquisitions Group for USA video (Pre-Toronto pick-ups).

TF1 licensed The Micmacs to Sony Pictures Classics for US, Canada and Latin America (Pre-Toronto pick-up). They will also be offering Jud Süß (The Jew Suss) about the rise and fall of actor Ferdinand Marian who takes the chance and stars in the anti-Semitic movie "Jud Süß" and Father's Guests in Toronto.

The Film Sales Company acquired worldwide rights to Cole (Pre-Toronto pick-up).

Little Film Company licensed The Last Station to Sony Pictures Classics for North and South America. Other distributors include Optimum Releasing for UK and Warner Bros. for Germany.

The Match Factory licensed Soul Kitchen to BIM Distribuzione [it] for Italy in Venice. Rights also belong to Monopole-Pathé (Switzerland), Cinéart(Benelux), Pyramide Distribution (France).

The Works International acquired I Am Love, one of the most talked about films at the Venice Film Festival, from James Atherton’s Quickfire Films. International Creative Management (ICM)’s Jeff Berg negotiated North American pickup with Magnolia for North America after its premiere at Toronto. Other distributors included Mikado Film and Rai Cinema for Italy,
Ad Vitam Distribution for France, Alta Classics for Spain, Rialto Distribution for New Zealand and Australia, Metrodome Distribution for UK and Ireland.

Trust Nordisk sold the Eva Green - Ewan McGregor project The Last Word (working title) to South Korea (Entermode), Benelux (Wild Bunch Benelux) and Greece (Seven Films). UK rights to Mammoth went to Soda Pictures and a pan-Latin American pay-TV deal on the film with CDC. Soda has also taken UK rights to Storm. Family film Timetrip: The Curse of the Viking Witch has gone to MFA Filmdistribution for Germany and Videx International for Latin America. Max Manus: Man of War has sold to Showgate for Japan and CTV for France. Max Manus scriptwriter Thomas Nordseth-Tiller dies aged 28 13-May-2009. UGC International licensed La fille du RER (Girl on the Train), based on a true story, the film recounts a 2004 incident in which a troubled young woman falsely claimed to have been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack on an urban Parisian train (or RER) to Strand Releasing for US (Pre-Toronto pick-up).

Visit Films has acquired international sales rights to Shirley Adams and Dear Lemon Lima. Suzi Yoonessi’s Dear Lemon Lima will premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Visit will also screen Carcasses in Toronto and introduce buyers to the fashion world documentary Picture Me: A Model's Diary.

Voltage Pictures licensed Survival of the Dead to Optimum Releasing (UK), Paradiso Entertainment (Benelux), Splendid Film (Germany), Presidio (Japan), Gulf Film (Middle East), Imagem Filmes (Brazil) and M Pictures (Thailand). Negotiations for France and Italy are ongoing, while Spanish and Australian rights are still up for grabs. E1 Entertainment has rights for Canada, a co-producing country on the picture. Cinetic Media will handle US sales. Cinetic also handled the domestic deal for Diary Of The Dead, which was picked up by The Weinstein Company.

Wild Bunch licensed Spring Fever to Strand Releasing for US (Pre-Toronto pick-up). IFC Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Valhalla Rising, marking the first pick-up by a major U.S. specialty distributor during the Toronto Film Festival. IFC Films won distribution rights following a bidding war. They plan to release Valhalla Rising in 2010 via its IFC In Theaters program. It is also licensed to Le Pacte for France), Scanbox Entertainment for Scandinvia. Cooking With Stella went to The Film Sales Company for North American representation. Mongrel Media has Canada.

WME assigned US rights to Sony Pictures Classics for Mother and Child in November 2009. Other sales made in Toronto by Endeavor's Graham Taylor include Smile Entertainment for Scandinavia, Seven Films for Greece, Hopscotch Entertainment for Australia/ NZ, Haut et Court for France, Front Row Distributors for the Middle East, Cinéart for Benelux, Bir Film for Turkey.

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre has been picked up for UK by E1 Films from Film and Music Entertainment (Pre-Toronto pick-up) and may acquire other territories. Film And Music Entertainment is seeking to close a world sales deal at Toronto as well. Paramount Pictures has picked up Spanish theatrical and DVD rights to Basque painter drama La maquina de pintar nubes (The Cloud-Painting Machine).

Collapse will go out in theaters and VoD simultaneously two months after debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival. Cinetic has brokered a deal with Vitagraph Films to launch the film in theaters next month, putting the doc on Cinetic’s new FilmBuff cable VOD channel at the same time.

Defendor has picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group for US and most international rights. Cinetic Media repped the U.S. rights to the film.

The Art of the Steal was picked up for North America by Rainbow Media (which owns IFC Films) for its new theatrical and video-on-demand label Sundance Selects.

The Good Soldier was picked up by Artistic License before its premiere at the Hamptons Film Festival.

Toxic Baby was picked up by Women Make Movies for US.

Wonderful World was picked up for North America by Magnolia. CAA negotiated the deal for the producers.

One year after its launch at TIFF, Me And Orson Welles has found US distribution through Freestyle Releasing with a campaign by Russell Schwartz’ Pandemic Marketing and to open November 25. Hart-Lunsford Pictures of Louisville is funding the P&A costs and Warner Bros Home Video (WBHV) will handle the DVD release. Cinetic Media, who repped the film at TIFF 2008 brokered the deal with WBHV. An alliance assembled by UK finance and production company Cinemanx (NX), whose chairman is Steve Christian, set up the theatrical deal. NX recently formed a relationship with Vue Entertainment in the UK to produce and directly distribute titles including Me And Orson Welles.

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