Monday, February 22, 2010

Buyers Reps: Richard Glasser and Trans-Pacific

As I was about to comment on the happy news that Laurie Woodrow's Trans-Pacific has been acquired by Fierce Entertainment, I received the shocking and tragic news that Richard Glasser, one of the most beloved pioneers of a small special niche of people serving international film acquisitions called buyers reps suffered a massive stroke and died in Giovanna's arms after a loving reunion on his return from his Berlin trip for the EFM. He was home having a normal great time with Giva for just an hour before it occurred.

Richard was one of a small group called Buyers Reps which began as a small group of very specialized acquisitions executives buying for the larger international distributors.  Gordon Steele was one of the earliest of these pioneers and he repped (still does) the largest most prestigious distributors from around the world.  Laurie Woodrow's Trans-Pacific was started by Fortissimo's Michael Werner in the early days of the 1980s when international distributors started hiring "buyers reps".  Now, it seems perhaps, "buyers reps" are becoming industrial, though I doubt it.  It remains a person to person business actually begun by Asian go-betweens who would set up offices in LA and buy films for their companies back home where English was not the lingua franca.  One very early buyers rep I remember was Alvin Cassel who represented Toho-Towa.  We met in 1992 at a Crowne International Christmas party.  He wanted to use FilmFinders but when I solicited his boss in Japan, Steve Hirsch, another buyers rep, came after me and told me not to compete for his clients. 

Steve passed on prematurely and now I have just heard that Richard Glasser, another well loved buyers rep has also passed on prematurely.  Is the business a high pressure business?  These losses are painful as is that of Fortissimo's Wouter Barendrecht less than a year after.

Other buyers reps on the scene dating back to those early days and who are still actively in business include Gloria Feldman, Jerome Bliah and Andre Boissier, if his ABLO is still in that business.  Coming on the scene and taking over the Bjork operation, Kelly Green and Penny Karlin may not still be operating their partnership, though I have not heard that rumor confirmed.  There were some others whose names I seem to have forgotten.  Apologies for their exclusion. The newest and most active now are Orange's Mirjam Wertheim and Julie Kroll. 

Now Christopher Petzel’s LA-based management and production company Fierce Entertainment has acquired Trans-Pacific Media and Laurie Woodrow will serve as senior vice-president of international.  Laurie has been a long time rep of more than 15 of the top independent distributors in territories across Europe, Asia and Latin America, including DeaPlaneta in Spain, ZDF Enterprises in Germany, Dall’Angelo Pictures in Italy, Noble Entertainment in Scandinavia and CP Digital in Russia,

Congratulations to Laurie for her beautiful service and to Christopher Petzel for his vision in acquiring her company.

And my deepest felt condolences to the family of Richard Glasser.  He will be missed by all who knew him.  He was a wonderful man.

Here is the letter by Nikki Parker sent to his friends and colleagues:

To the many of you who are friends and colleagues of Richard Glasser..

Giovanna has asked me to let you know the tragic news that Richard suffered a massive stroke 4 days ago. He essentially died in Giovanna's arms after a loving reunion on his return from his Berlin trip for the EFM. He was home having a normal great time with Giva for just an hour before it occurred.

If you are like me when I first heard them, these words will ring untrue, and I wish they were.

If I can be of any solace, please contact me and I will try to help further explain this inexplicable tragedy. Giovanna, Gabriella, Cati and Elissa are all together with the rest of their loved ones and are
working through their pain with the strong support of each other.

They will be having a small family service very soon in L.A. and will be arranging a memorial service in the weeks to come.

We will advise you when it’s all figured out.

Please hold Richard and his family in your prayers during this sensitive time of shock and mourning.

Richard's magnanimous spirit has touched so many and it may be of comfort to you to know that, in death as well as in life, Richard smiles with you.

I’m very sorry to bring you this terrible message but it was important to the family to let you know.


Nikki Parker
Executive Vice President
Rogers and Cowan
84 Eccleston Square
London SW1V 1PX

Tel: 0203 048 0487


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Berlinale's World Cinema Fund's 2 Oscar Nominated Films

Two Oscar nominations - one for La teta asustada and one for Ajami - marks the Berlinale's World Cinema Fund as an early arbiter of the world's taste in the finest of international cinema.

Congratulations to directors Claudia Llosa, Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti on the Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film 2010. The winner of the Golden Bear 2009, La Teta Asustada (Milk of Sorrow) by Claudia Llosa from Peru, and Ajami by Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti (Israel) were both funded by the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund.

World Cinema Fund Day at the Berlinale: Feb 17, 2010, 11am-2 pm at the Filmhaus, Potsdamer Str. 2, 4th floor

“Strategy makes sense, and passion does, too…”

The WCF Day will once again provide an opportunity to learn more about the programme, successes, funding strategies, films, initiatives, and partners of the WCF. On this occasion the World Cinema Fund will present its new promotional DVD edition that has been made possible with the special additional support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. On the same day, the WCF invites all its friends and fans as well as representatives of the industry and press to a panel discussion on Iranian Cinemawith Rafi Pitts, Jafar Panahi, Reza Haeri, Asghar Farhadi, Mohammad Farokhmanesch and cultural theorist Maryam Mameghanian-Prenzlow.

In co-operation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) the Berlin International Film Festival has set up the World Cinema Fund (WCF) to support filmmakers from transition countries. Until 2007, the geographical focus has been on Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. In February 2007, the WCF announced an expansion of the focus regions: since summer 2007, film projects from South East Asia and the Caucasus are also eligible for support from the WCF.

Wonderful and unusual films have been made thanks to the support of the WCF. These films, which have been shown at international festivals and in cinemas in several countries, were screened for the Berlin public and cinema enthusiasts with an interest in very special films: strong, authentic stories from Latin America, Africa, the Near/Middle East and Central- and South East Asia as well as innovative visual ideas – artistically sophisticated and internationally successful at the same time.

Seven New Projects funded by the World Cinema Fund
At the 10th session of the World Cinema Fund (WCF) jury on June 26 and 27, five new film projects were selected for production funding; and two films, for distribution funding. The WCF jury – film scholar and curator Viola Shafik (Germany/Egypt), programme coordinator of Swiss Television Alberto Chollet (Switzerland), dramaturge Alby James (England), as well as WCF project managers Sonja Heinen and Vincenzo Bugno – made their selection from more than 100 submissions from a total of 40 countries. They awarded funds totalling 222,500 euros.

The One Man Village was selected for distribution funding

Find more information on these and other WCF-supported film projects under Funded Projects Production respectively Funded Projects Distribution.

German Federal Cultural Foundation will continue to support the World Cinema Fund
The Berlinale is pleased that the board of the German Federal Cultural Foundation under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Culture Bernd Neumann agreed at its last meeting to extend its financing of the WCF until the end of 2011.

World Cinema Fund with Four Films in Cannes

The World Cinema Fund (WCF) is pleased to report that four of the films it helped support have been invited to the Festival de Cannes (13 to 24 May 2009).

The following films will be showing in the official programme of the Un Certain Regard section:

The Wind Journeys by Ciro Guerra (Columbia/Germany/the Netherlands)

Independencia by Raya Martins (France/Germany/Philippines)

Directors’ Fortnight:
Ajami by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani (Israel/Germany)

Critics’ Week:
Huacho by Alejandro Almendras Fernandez (France/Chile/Germany)

Berlinale 2009:
WCF film La Teta Asustada wins the Golden Bear as does is star lead actres Magaly Solier.

The Peruvian-Spanish film La teta asustada (The Milk of Sorrow) by Claudia Llosa, was awarded the Golden Bear for Best Film by the International Jury 2009. The film which received WCF production funding in November 2006, had its world premiere in the Competition of the 59th Berlin International Film Festival.

Berlin Rights Roundup

It's a wrap!  The Martin Gropius Bau is empty and the final pickups follow.  This is a work in progress and readers are invited and welcome to contribute. Presales have returned in reaction to the reduced number of finished films on offer over the past two markets.  Presales applies across the board from US to French and even Italian films.  English language films are increasingly coming out of the major non English language territories but local product is impacting sales on US films internationally.  Business was quickly wrapped up but it was done with a healthy number of buys reported.  Lower prices have become accepted but the market must have product as this event proved.

Adriana Chiesa     has licensed Federico Moccia’s teen trilogy to Savor to Spain. The first title, Sorry If I Love You (Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore) grossed $27m when released by Medusa on 600 prints in Italy. The films will be promoted together with the original books, which were also written by Moccia and are bestsellers in Spain.

Affinity (formerly Odd Lot)’s Brian O’Shea has closed major territories on Rabbit Hole. On record thus far are Fox Searchlight Pictures for North American release in 2011, Diamond Pictures for Argentina, CDE Videa for Italy, Paris Filmes for Brazil, Sun Distribution for Latin America.

Arclight sales chief Mark Lindsay presold Bruce Beresford's Zebra to Metropolitan for France.  Red Hill one of the hottest marketing screenings here following its world premiere in Panorama went for UK to Momentum and offers are pending from Germany and Spain.  It also went to Svensk in Scandinavia, Pinema in Turkey and Forum in Israel and Transmission in Australia. North American screenings to continue in Los Angeles and New York. The Loved Ones has gone to Optimum for UK, ARP for France, Koch Media for Germany and Madman for Australia.

Autlook licensed documentary Bananas!* to Oscilloscope for US. About the lawsuit of 12 workers at Dole banana plantation in Nicaragua who used banned pesticides, this and Eyes Wide Open about Latin American democratic movements marks Autlook as the source of politically loaded docs on Latin America.

AV Pictures has sold Shank (UK’s City of God) to Wild Side for France, Moviebank for Benelux, Falcon for the Middle East and Ascot Elite for Germany. Revolver will release in UK march 26 on 80 prints.

Bavaria Film International licensed Henry Of Navarre (Henri IV), based on the novel by Heinrich Mann, about the Huguenot king Henry IV, who led Protestant forces against the Paris-based Catholics in France's religious wars of the 16th century, to CIS and Baltic states (Film Depot), Romania (ProRom) and Colombia (Cine Colombia). There is strong interest from Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland, Scandinavia and Benelux. Rabbit Without Ears 2 sold to Latin America (HBO), Brazil (Flashstar), Singapore (Festive Films) and Taiwan (Swallow Wings).  How I Ended This Summer went to New Wave for UK.

Celsius licensed Amphibious to Dutch Film Works/ BFD for Benelux and Leopolis for Russia/ CIS. It has also deals with Monolith for Poland, Odeon Cineplex for Romania, Blitz for the ex-Yugoslavia, Odeon for Greece and Cyprus, Ozen for Turkey, J-Bics for Thailand, Queen Films for Indonesia, Golden Screen Cinemas for Malaysia.

Central Partnership licensed Taras Bulba Rio to Korea Telecom for its IPTV service Qook for subscription VOD.

Cinemavault acquired world rights to The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu which was also acquired by MPI Media's Dark Sky Films label for theatrical release in the fall to be followed by DVD and VOD in October.
Cinetic International sold the Banksy documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop to Madman in Australia who will release in June. Jean Labadie’s Paris-based Le Pacte has France and Revolver will release in the UK on March 5. Abel went to Wild Bunch Benelux.

Coach 14 is handling two films from new Romanian director Constantin Popescu. His debut feature Portrait Of Fighter As A Young Man, about Romanian resistance to communist rule, is playing in the Forum in Berlin. He is also working on comedy Principles Of Life with Police, Adjective star Vlad Ivanov.

Contentfilm's newest pickup is Every Little Step, sold to US's Sony Pictures Classics and Shochiku in Japan.  A UK deal with Paramount is in place for Extract. Paramount plans to release the film on March 26 in the UK and Ireland. Welcome to the Rileys will likely combine a Sony home video and Apparition theatrical release.

Dea Planeta presold off a three-minute promo and screenplay UK rights to the Focus Features Intl. co-produced horror film Julia’s Eyes, produced by Guillermo del Toro to Optimum Releasing for UK, to Scandinavia (CinemaMondo), Poland (Kino Swiat) and Greece (Rosebud) . More deals are imminent. Universal Pictures has the rights for Spain, France and Latin America. Now in post, it should be ready for the Toronto film festival. Beyond co-producing, Focus Features has taken rights to France, Spain and Latin America, three territories where Spanish-language genre fare or thrillers have substantial grosses at the box office.

Delphis Films of Canada has sold Swedish title The Girl to Olive Films for North America.

Doc & Film has sold La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet which in France has more than 100,000 admissions (Sophie Dulac Distribution) and in US has grossed $500,000 (Zipporah Films) to Folkets Bio for Sweden, Soda for UK, Cinemien for Benelux, Madman for Australia and New Zealand, Xenix for Switzerland and other territories.

Double Edge has licensed The Treasure Hunter, a $15 million actioner, to Splendid Film for Germany and Benelux, E1 Entertainment for the UK and Canada, Noori Pictures for Paramount in Japan, and Lotte in South Korea as well as CP Digital for the CIS and Baltic countries.

E1, soon to open its own label for distribution outlets in Australia and New Zealand through Beyond Home Entertainment, and with distribution already in place in UK, US and Canada, is handling the Panorama Audience Award Winner Waste Land for the rest of the world. They have licensed Animal Kingdom to Sony Pictures Classics for US and Latin America with Rena Ronson of UTA brokering the US deal. Other international territories sold are UK (Optimum Releasing), France (ARP Selection), Italy (Mikado Films), Scandinavia (Scanbox Entertainment), and CIS (Film Depot).

Easternlight Films has sold Chinese revenge tale 14 Blades for UK and Australia (Icon), Japan (Sony), Germany (Koch Media), France (Metropolitan), Turkey (Aqua Pinema), the Middle East (Ballistic Films), South Korea (Noori Pictures), Hong Kong (Golden Harvest), Taiwan (Long Shong), Thailand (Mediafilms), India and the Philippines (Soundspace) and Indonesia (PT Amero). 14 Blades has grossed more than $8.7m in its first four days of release in China, whose cumulative box office, btw, has doubled this year.

Elephant Eye sold Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire to Fandango for Italy after the Academy Awards.  Most territories had been sold previously.  The book will also go on sale in Italy.

Elle Driver licensed In Your Hands to Cineart for Benelux.

Europacorp licensed 22 Bullets (L’Immortel) to Eagle for Italy, Wild Bunch for Germany. Other distributors include Bioscop ( for Czech Republic, E1 for Benelux, EuropaCorp for France, Monopole Pathe for Switzerland and Top Films for Russia. It is now sold out in Latin America and Eastern Europe and has sold to South Korea, China, Canada and is in final stages of making a deal with Japan and Spain. Other small territories have also been sold.

Fandango Portobello Sales has sold Italo-Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek’s Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) produced by Fandango’s Domenico Procacci to Spain (Vertigo Films), Benelux (ABC/Cinemien Distribution), Brazil (Imovision), Australia and New Zealand (Transmission Films), Germany and Austria (Prokino), Poland (Vivarto) and Mexico (CTV).

Film Sharks International has closed a two-picture deal with Olive Films for North America for Finland’s Oscar submission Letters To Father Jacob and Argentinean film A Boyfriend For My Wife, which will be remade in the US by Warner Bros. NonStop picked up Scandinavian rights to Untitled as has Ledafilms for Latin American TV and Impacto Cine for Argentina and Chile. Other territories sold include Japan to Alcine Terran, Taiwan to Khan Ent. Co. and Australia to SBS.  Spain's Festival Films has taken all rights for Spain from Letters to Father Jacob. YLE TV1 has Finnish TV and Nordisk has Scandinavian rights. FilmSharks has picked up international rights to Jean-Claude Janer’s French fantasy Sister Welsh’s Nights, in Berlinale’s Generation 14Plus.  Festival already has A Boyfriend for my Wife as does Chris Lee Pictures Intl. for South Korea.

Filmax licensed Agnosia to Momentum for UK, Alliance for Canada, and SquareOne for Germany. English language Exorcismus presold to E1 for UK, Vendetta for Australia and Mediafilm for Italy, Kino Swiat for Poland, Gussi for Mexico, PlayArte in Brazil, LAP TV for Latin American Pay TV, Gulf for the Middle East, Lusomundo for Portugal, CDI for Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. It will be delivered in the fall and is tipped for the Toronto IFF. Spanish Movie went to Japan (AT Entertainment), Germany (Universum), Corazon (Mexico), Swen for Brazil and pay TV Latin America, Paradiso for Benelux, Lusomundo for Portugal, Film Depot for CIS, Kino Swiat for Poland, Eurofilms for Peru/ Bolivia/ Ecuador and Wiesner for Puerto Rico.

Films Boutique has licensed Dancing Dreams to Jour de Fete for France, JinJin for South Korea and Filmcoopi for Switzerland. Here and There went to E1 for US and Canada. To Die Like a Man went to A1 for Russia. Illusiones Opticas went to A1 for Russia and Soda for UK.

Films Distribution licensed Generation Kplus film La Pivellina to Filmgalerie 451 for Germany. L’Amour Fou about Yves Saint Laurent in Berlin presold to Optimum for UK – a rare occurrence for a doc, Benelux, Switzerland and Australia. Optimum previously released Films Distribution’s Coco Before Chanel" in July 2009. Cell 211 went to CCV for Scandinavia, DMC for Czech Republic, Nettai Museum and Shochiku for Japan and Atalanta for Portugal.

Films du Losange licensed Nénette to Switzerland (Agora) and French-speaking Canada (K Film).

Fortissimo’s Reign Of Assassins by John Woo and Terrence Chang has gone to Lionsgate for UK, Film Depot /Volga Films for Russia and the Baltics and United King for Israel, Film & TV House for Portugal, Vision of Poland and Younghwa for So. Korea. Winter’s Bone, picked up for US distribution in Sundance by Road Side, has been acquired by Paradiso for Benelux, Pretty Pictures for France, Look Now for Switzerland, Lusomundo for Portugal, Vivarto for Poland and NonStop for Scandinavia, Iceland and the Baltics. Doris Dörrie’s Berlinale Special title Hairdresser sold to Paradiso for Benelux, United King for Israel and Vivarto for Poland plus multiple offers for Korea. Road, Movie, screening in Generations has been acquired by Senator Film for Germany, Madman for Australia and New Zealand, Paradiso for Benelux, United King for Israel, with a deal for North America close to closing. Shock Labyrinth: Extreme 3D was sold to Cathay for Singapore and Queen Cinema for Indonesia. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child sold to Pretty Pictures for France, Germany and Switzerland and to Portugal (Lusomundo).

Funny Balloons licensed Mammuth to Fandango for Italy.

Gaumont sold OSS 117 – Lost in Rio to Korea Telecom for its IPTV service Qook for subscription VOD. The Round Up went to Wide in Spain, E1 for Canada, Belga for Belgium, Monopole Pathe for Switzerland, Golden Harvest for Hong Kong and Odeon for Greece.

Golden Network licensed Merantau to Magnet for US, E1 for UK, WE for France, Tiberius for Germany, Prorom for Romania, Scorpio East for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

H20 of Andras Hamori and Mark Horowitz sold The Waiting City, The Gate 3D, and Lie Down With Darkness to E1 for Canada.

Hannibal presales for Son of No One meet the requirements of genre and names and so the Nu Image/ Millennium coproduction which starts March 22 in New York is one of the hotter presales titles at the European Film Market. Territories signed within the last few days include the Middle East (Eagle), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Turkey (Horizon) Poland (Monolith), Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia (Grandview Castle) and Latin America (Swen). Deals also were made for the UK and Spain, with a deal with a Canadian distributor expected imminently. Give 'Em Hell went to Canada ( E1), Germany (Splendid), UK, (Momentum), Australia (Horizon), Greece (Spentzos), Portugal (Lusumundo), Spain (Novel Wide Pictures), Turkey (Saran), Latin and South America (Swen), Poland (Monolith), CIS (Soyuz), Hungary (RTL), Yugoslavia (Grandview Castle), Romania (ITV), Israel (5 Star). The Antonio Banderas thriller The Big Bang went to Canada (E1), Poland (Monolith), CIS (Soyuz), Hungary (RTL), Romania (Intermedia), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Hollywood), former Yugoslavia (Grandview Castle), Greece (Spentzos), Turkey (Horizon), Middle East (Eagle), Latin and South America (Swen). Gun starring 50 Cent, sold to Canada (E1), Benelux (Les films Elysees), Turkey (Horizon), Middle East (Eagle), Latin and South America (Swen), Poland (Monolith), Hungary (RTL), Romania (Program 4 Media), former Yugoslavia (Taramount), Czech Republic (Vapet), Thailand (IPA). A UK deal is expected soon.

Hanway licensed Andrea Arnold's adaptation of Emily Bronte's classic novel and BAFTA-winner Wuthering Heights to Alta Films, Spain's top art house distribution-exhibition company and Cineart for Benelux Hanway has concluded deals in 21 territories including Artificial Eye and Film 4 in the U.K., Diaphana in France, Prokino in Germany, Alta in Spain, Transmission in Australia and Ster Kinekor in South Africa. Other deals have been signed in Portugal, Switzerland, Benelux Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, the former Yugoslavia, Iceland, Hong Kong / Singapore, Turkey, the Middle East, Russia, Korea and Latin America. David Cronenberg’s The Talking Cure also went to Cineart for Benelux.

Hungaricom licensed Children Of Glory and Made In Hungaria to Visual Factory for France and Benelux. Hungaria already sold to Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam and Canada. AB Groupe picked up all film rights as well as TV series rights to Gabor Csupo's animated feature Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita) for French-speaking European territories (e.g., France and Benelux, French speaking Switzerland). HungariCom has already sold the movie to the US, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Russia and former Soviet territories.

Hyde Park licensed Blue Valentine to Wide for Spain, CDI for Italy, Gussi for Latin America, Lusomundo for Portugal, Front Row for the Middle East, Seven Group for Greece, Forum for Israel, Aqua Pimena for Turkey and Pioneer for Philippines.

Icon ‘s presales of How I Spent My Summer Vacation makes it one of the bigger titles at the European Film Market. Icon has closed deals with the Telemunchen for Germany, Eagle for Italy, Metropolitan for France, Paradiso for Benelux, Revolutionary Releasing for Eastern Europe, Svensk for Scandinavia, Odeon for Greece, Ascot Elite for Switzerland, Lusomundo for Portugal, Nu Metro for South Africa, Prime Pictures for the Middle East, Fida for Turkey, Pioneer for Philippines, PT Amero for Indonesia, SSG for Taiwan and Sahamongkolfilm for Thailand. The film starts in March in an actual working Mexican prison which called for the moving of prisoners, causing protests from their families. No deal has been made with a North American distributor yet. Icon will distribute the film in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. has presold to Universal for UK, Australia, Scandinavia, Spain and Italy based on a 10 minute teaser.

IM Global licensed Skyline to Eagle Pictures for Italy. CAA is repping US rights. IM Global and Reliance have allied to share international sales starting with huge Bollywood box office grosser (in India) 3 Idiots up to $64m so far globally (and more than $6.5m in North America through Reliance) with superstar Aamir Khan, Kites, Raavan and others. The Indian diaspora alone in UK, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East guarantees success.

Imagina has presold Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger to Sun Distribution (Latin America), Central Partnership (CIS region), Scanbox (Scandinavia), Paradiso (Benelux), Frenetic (Switzerland), Zon-Lusomundo (Portugal), Shapira (Israel), Gulf Films (Middle East), Kino Swiat (Poland), Blitz (Ex-Yugoslavia), AQS (Czech Republic), Pro-Rom (Romania), Videovision (South Africa), Golden Scene (Hong Kong) and Queen Imperial (Indonesia).  Also deals were made for the US with Sony Pictures Classics, France (Warner Bros), Italy (Medusa), Germany (Concorde), and is in talks for deals in the UK, Japan, Korea and Australia.

The film is currently in post-production and is being backed by Gravier Productions in the US and Spain’s MediaPro.

Independent licensed Exam to IFC for US, SY Comad for South Korea, Klockworx for Japan, Lark for Hong Kong, CP Digital for CIS, Seven Group for Greece, Shooting Stars for the Middle East and Film Pop Filmclik for Turkey.

Inferno Entertainment is close to selling out its marquee survival title The Grey which has gone to Entertainment in the UK, Metropolitan in France, Universum/RTL in Germany, Icon in Australia and New Zealand, and Swen in Latin America, Central Partnership (CIS), Dutch Film Works (Benelux), Ascot Elite (Switzerland), Myndform (Iceland), and Blue Sky (Eastern Europe). More announcements are imminent. Deals made between Sundance and Berlin for The Kids Are All Right include Lucky Red in Italy, Hopscotch in Australia and New Zealand, and Scanbox in Scandinavia, Swen in Latin America, Seven Films in Greece, A-Film in Benelux, Castelo Lopes in Portugal, and Lev Films in Israel. Spain and Switzerland are also expected to close. Focus Features paid approximately $4.5m in Sundance for North America, the UK, South Africa and Germany. A private screening for existing buyers and open territories of The Experiment, Paul Scheuring’s remake of the Oliver Hirschbiegel German thriller Das Experiment will close soon for France. Dutch Film Works has taken Benelux rights. Deals are already in place with Constantin in Germany, Swen in Latin America, Sungwon I Com in South Korea, Lusomundo in Portugal, and Seven in Greece, E1 in Canada, Jaguar in the Middle East, Medyavision in Turkey, Five Stars in Israel, Ablo/Freeman in Eastern Europe, and Myndform in Iceland.

Infinity licensed Operation: Endgame to Anchor Bay Films for US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand,

Inner City Films has licensed Beat the World to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (Spwag) for all Us rights and E1 Entertainment for all UK, Canada and Scandinavia rights

Jinga Films has closed sales on horror film Salvage for France with Opening and Thailand with Sahamongkol Film which has also acquired Finale, The Disappeared and Outlanders. Timer went to Israel (Shapira) and Middle East (Italia). Italia also picked up Shadow. Finale went to Image Entertainment for North America. Five UK horror films including The Disappeared, Salvage, The Scar Crow and Scars went to HBO Central Europe.

Kevin Williams Associates licensed Between Sheets to Sonamu for South Korea. The Hanged Man went to Sonamu for South Korea, AK for Japan and Venevision for the US. Tirant Lo Blanc also went to Sonamu for South Korea and to MIG Films for Germany.

Kinology licensed HeartBreaker to Revolver for UK. Buried went to Lionsgate for North America and to Warner Bros. for Spain.

Koktebel licensed Alexei Popogrebsky’s How I Ended This Summer (Kak Ya Provel Etim Letom) to Sergei Yershov’s Film Depot, which specializes in distribution in Russia and the CIS countries.

Latido will be losing Max Saidel who is moving back to Rome to become the Cultural Attache for France. The New German distributor Camino Filmverleih has acquired all rights for Germany and Switzerland to the Oscar-nominated The Secret In Their Eyes as has Filmware for Taiwan and Wild Bunch for Benelux. Negotiations continue for Japan. It has now sold in 30 territories including UK to Metrodome, France to Pretty Pictures, Australia to Rialto and US to Sony Pictures Classics. Of Love and Other Demons has gone to Only Hearts for Japan.

Le Pacte licensed all US rights to Strand Releasing for Francois Ozon’s Le Refuge. Alta has also closed with Jean Labadie's Le Pacte on Spanish rights to The Solitude of Prime Numbers now in production, based on Italian writer Paolo Giordano's best-selling book of same title.

Left Film Sales sold Colin to Eden for Japan, MIG for German speaking territories. High Fliers will release Slaughtered in UK.

LevelK, Tine Klint’s new Danish sales company has sold The Temptation of St. Tony to Olive for US.

Lionsgate’s Riddick, the third entry in the sci-fi series that began with 2000's Vin Diesel starrer Pitch Black and one of the most sought-after titles at EFM, has been presold to Central Partnership for Russia. The asking price for Russia was $2.2 million but in a bidding war among Russia's major distributors, the final price was $2.5 million a market which is big on hard core action and sci-fi epics. Lionsgate Mandate presold I’m With Cancer (working title) to Summit for North America. While Lionsgate narrowed its fiscal 3rd quarter loss to $65.3 million from $97.8 million a year ago and revenue from Mandate jumped 55% to $12.9 million, the overall motion picture revenue during the 3rd quarter fell 2% to $251 million and minority share holder Carl Icahn continues to hover over the company. Helen Lee Kim, head of sales licensed Kick Ass to Metropolitan for France, A-Film for Benelux, Nordisk for Scandinavia, Leopolis for CIS and Baltics, and Revolutionary for Eastern Europe. Universal will distribute in UK, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and Switzerland. Lionsgate will release in North America in April. The Next Three Days went to Kinowelt for Germany, Lionsgate for UK, Medusa for Italy, Metropolitan for France, Tripictures for Spain, Top for CIS, Imagem for Latin America, S & M for South Korea, Svensk for Scandinavia and Belga for Benelux.

Little Film Company has sold Cherrybomb for UK and Australia to Universal, Capelight in Germany, Front Row in the Middle East, and Go Crazy in the Czech Republic. Optimum has taken UK rights to The Last Station. Other deals have closed with Becker (Australia), Applause (Taiwan), Ster Kinekor (South Africa), E1 Entertainment (Benelux), Shaw (Singapore), Edko (Hong Kong), Front Row (Middle East), United Films (Israel), and Calinos (Turkey). Warner Bros. has German rights where it has grossed some $740,000 in two weeks of release. It has grossed more than $1.5m in its North American limited release through Sony Pictures Classics, which is also releasing in Japan, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. Sony has Latin America. Oscar nominations for best actress for Helen Mirren and best supporting actor for Christopher Plummer are building suspense and anticipation for the film.

M-appeal has picked up Rosa von Praunheim’s New York Memories ahead of its world premiere in Berline’s Panorama. They have also picked up worldwide rights to Colombian drama Crab Trap premiering in the Forum, and premiered The Last Summer Of The Boyita  which sold to Carmen Film for territories of the CIS and Cineplex for Taiwan. The sensitively told story of an intersexual child will have its US premiere at the Miami International Film Festival this month.  Slovenian Girl sold US to Film MovementAmstelfilm/Brunbro (Benelux), Cineplex (Taiwan) and Solaris (France).

Media Films, Bigas Luna's company has sold Di Di  Hollywood to Warner Bros. for Spain. Cana lPlus has French pay TV rights.

Media Luna has sold Panorama film Amphetamine to Greece (Clip Arte) and Pro-Fun Media for German speaking territories.

Memento licensed Argentinean Rompecabezas (Puzzle) to IFC for North America, New Wave for UK, Golem for Spain, Joint Entertainment to Taiwan, Cinemien/ ABC for Benelux, JinJin for South Korea, Primer Plano for Argentina, Lev Cinema for Israel. Cineart has Benelux and Golem has Spain for Julie Bertuccelli's Charlotte Gainsbourg starrer The Tree which also went to, Primer Plano for Argentina, Golden Scene for Hong Kong, Catchplay for Taiwan, Shooting Stars for the Middle East, Nutopia for Greece and Shapira for Israel. The Woman in the Fifth went to Artificial Eye for UK, Nutopia for Greece, Shooting Stars for the Middle East, United King for Israel, Catchplay for Taiwan, Worldwide Entertainment for Singapore, PT Parket for Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia. Shahada (Faith) went to Memento for France and Imagine for Benelux.

Menemsha was going to handle sales on Panorama entry Kawasaki’s Rose but Ariel Veneziano has taken all Menemsha titles for his new international sales agency to sell.  So now look down for his new company, Recreation.

Meridiana sold Altiplano to First Run for US.  It also sold to Australia.  Other distributors include Contact Film Cinematheek for The Netherlands, Imagine Films Distribution for Belgium, Meridiana for UK, Ama for Greece, Cineworx for Switzerland, Farbfilm for Austria and Germany. Magaly Solier is also starring foreign-language Oscar hopeful The Milk of Sorrow.

MK2 licensed Alemar to Film Movement for North America. MK2 has signed a distribution output deal with Orlando for Israel which will kick off with The Misfortunates and The Answer Man. Orlando will release through all platforms including its own new VOD site as well as Israel’s existing platforms from theatrical to pay TV, VOD on TV, free TV and DVD. ( 2/15/10). Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae sold to Blue Dolphin for UK, Films We Like for Canada, Delphi for Germany and Aztec for Australia as it departed Slamdance. Alamar went to Mongrel for Canada, Lumier for Belgium, Eye Film Institute for the Netherlands. Going South went to Salzgeber for Germany. The Mouth of the Wolf, an Italian film showing in the Forum is being premiered on the internet before its theatrical release by BIM Distribuzione. Free streaming to the first 300 requests will take place via the website. It will show to all on February 15 at 9:10 creating a virtual movie theater experience – whatever that is. The theatrical release will be February 19 in major Italian theaters with the hope that the buzz created by the VOD showing will pay off. The story is a true tale of romance behind bars between a convicted murderer and a junkie who becomes a transsexual. More bizarre, the Fondazione San Marcellino, a Jesuit foundation which works with outcasts and the homeless partly financed the film which won for best picture in the Turin Film Festival.

Moviehouse licensed Sid and Nancy death doc Who Killed Nancy? to Peace Arch for North America.

Myriad closed several territories on Sundance movie "Happythankyoumoreplease," including Greece (Spentzos), Middle East (Eagle) Portugal (VCM), Switzerland (Praesens), Spain (Filmax), South Korea (Daisy Entertainment), Israel (Forum), Switzerland (Praesenes) and Jaguar for airlines.  Horton Foote authored Main Streat which went to Spentzos for Greece, Myndform for Iceland, Minerva for Italy, VC Films for Portugal, D-Prods. for Turkey, Eagle Films for the Middle East outside Israel, Golden Village for Singapore, Leda Films for Latin America, Paris Films for Brazil and Cinesky for the airlines. Salvation Boulevard pre-sold in multiple territories, as did Every Day.

Nikkatsu presold Alien Vs Ninja and Mutant Girls Squad to Germany’s 8 Films for Germany, Benelux and Scandinavia. Cold Fish presold to French buyer Wild Side. Deals for Alien Vs Ninja with the UK and Thailand were closed earlier at AFM.

NonStop licensed David’s Birthday (Il Compleannno) to Wolfe Releasing for North America.

Other Angle has picked up worldwide rights to Emir Kustrica starrer Greek Summer which Walt Disney France is producing and distributing in France. To start April 2010, it has sold to Cinema Mondo in Scandinavia.  Bus Palladium has gone to Brave Films for Italy, Canada (Remstar), Benelux (Elysee) and Italy (Brave) and will soon go to Germany, Spain and UK. Thelma Louise Et Chantal sold for Italy to Nomad and in Poland to Vivarto.  Tete De Turc went to Benelux (Elysee) and Switzerland (JHM). Bambou and surprise summer hit Neuilly Sa Mere both sold to Russia’s Film Depot.

Paramount Vantage's Ondine sold to Magnolia for US through the offices of CAA.

Participant sold North American rights to Magnolia Pictures for Countdown To Zero.

Pathe Intl. presold Danny Boon’s Nothing to Declare to Prokino in Germany, and to Benelux's Paradiso, Canada's E1 and Wanda in Spain, the three of which had distributed Boon's blockbuster comedy Welcome to the Sticks to great box-office numbers. Sticks grossed $9.1 million in Belgium and $4.7 million in Spain. Africa United closed for Australia with Hopscotch, Scandinavia with Svensk, Benelux (RCV) and CIS (Central Partnership), Village in Greece and Teleview for the Middle East. The Illusionist, a Berlinale Special, sold to Japan's Klockworx, Italy's Cinema 11, Nutopia of Greece, Phars Film for the Middle East and Benelux's Paradiso. A US deal is expected to close soon. Australia's Hopscotch and the Middle East’s Phars Film also closed on Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud's big-budget docu Oceans which had a record-breaking opening day in France grossing $14.7 million by Feb. 16, definitely a selling point. Spain's Wanda acquired Loup. Tormented sold to Germany's Planet Media. Tout Ce Qui Brille (All That Glitters) sold to Investissement et Commerce for Reunion and Madagascar and Phars for the Middle East; Claude Berri and Francois Dupeyron’s Tresor sold to Phars for the Middle East; Tormented sold to Planet Media in Germany and To Protect And Serve (Proteger Et Servir) sold to Maure Films for Reunion and Phars for the Middle.  Centurion went to Magnolia for US.

Pyramide licensed The Mission of the Human Resources Manager to Golem for Spain. What More Do I Want (Cosa Voglio Di Piu) sold to ABC/ Cinemien for Benelux, PCV for Greece, CDI for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is distributing it itself in France and is in advanced negotiations for Ex-Yugoslavia, Germany/ Austria, Scandinavia, Australia, US, Canada and Korea. Warner Bros. has Italy.

Recreation Media, Ariel Veneziano's new company will take over sales duties on Menemsha's slate starting at the European Film Market in Berlin. The deal includes Kawasaki's Rose Panorama's Special Section's Opening Night film and Ludi Boeken's Saviors in the Night which premiered in Locarno, as well as Michael Verhoeven's documentary Human Failure and Czech comedy Shameless. are included in the deal.

Rezo made 55 deals at or just after Berlin.  Further proof that presales were strong in the market (and not just for English language American films, it presold Julie Delphy’s 2 Days in New York to Alta for Spain, as well as Germany (Senator), Australia (Hopscotch), Spain (Alta), Korea (AUD), Switzerland (Xenix) and Scandinavia (NonStop),and  Hong Kong, Middle East, Taiwan, Turkey and Portugal. Deals with Benelux, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Israel and Singapore are pending.  Other top sellers include Prey, Love, Imagined and Mademoiselle Chambon.  U.S. deals included a Kino Lorber pick up of Chambon and Film Movement's acquisition of Jaffa. Romanctic drama Chambon grossed $3.6 millin in first four weeks' release in France and added 13 deals to pre-Berlin  sales to 25 territories, incluiding to Germany (Arsenal), Spain (Sagrera), Australia (Sharmill), Argentina (CDI) and Brazil (Imovision).  More pre-sales with Prey and Love, Imagined sellng off promo reels, Prey went to E1 for U.K. and Canada, plus other deals with Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, Love, Imagined presold to Benelux's ABC/Cinemien, plus Taiwan and Greece.  Now in post, Magic Valley presold to Greece, Middle East and Taiwan.  Rezo retains French rights on 2 Days in New York and Love, Imagined.  How I Killed My Mother sold in Berlin to Spain (Sagrera) and Brazil (Seven Arts).  Genre film The Game of Death sold to Wild Bunch Germany, Canada's Metropole and Spain's Sagrera. Interesting note on the tough territories like Japan:  New ways of distribution are under discussion, such as Frozen River which in Japan was released almost day and date in theatrical and VOD.

Sahamongkolfilm International ‘s Gilbert Lim who is selling Ong Bak 3 confirmed that, despite the EFM's European label, Berlin's market for Asian cinema is booming."Each year has just been getting better for us," he said, without divulging sales figures.

Salt licensed Cherry Tree Lane to Haut et Court for France and French speaking Europe. Metrodome has UK.

Shoreline licensed its horror film Sympathy to Vicious Circle Films, the horror label of Breaking Glass Pictures for North America and will release it theatrically April 27. Fat Belly – Chopper (Unchopped) went to WVG for Germany and it will be handled theatrically by Splendid.

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, whose international sales are now being handled by Nick Meyer’s Sierra Pictures is at EFM presenting Michele Ohayon’s S*O*S/ State of Security which SKE co financed.

SND has entered an exclusive agreement with telecoms operator Orange to premiere the distributor’s films on its Orange cinema series TV channels in France. It will include Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2010.

Sony Pictures Entertainment licensed the Michael Jackson doc This Is It to Gianluca Chacra’s Front Row Entertainment for home entertainment in the Middle East and North Africa.

Studio Canal licensed The Last Exorcism to Film Depot for Russia and the CIS states. Lionsgate has North American rights. It has also gone to Australia (Hopscotch), Russia (Film Depot), Korea (Daisy), Canada (Alliance). By the same team, Eli Roth and Strike Entertainment still collaborating with Studio Canal, The Other Woman has gone to Italy (Eagle) and Mexico (Gussi). These deals were negotiated on the pitch alone. Sony has Chloe for North America. The EFM was the first market at which footage of Brighton Rock was shown. Further deals on the Graham Greene adaptation have been closed with Greece (Village), Latin America (Imagem), Portugal (Lusomundo) and the Middle East (Front Row.) US offers are also in the works. Olivier Assayas’, which is being made as a three-part mini-series and a feature film, has gone to Madman in Australia, Mongrel in Canada and Gulf in the Middle East. Carlos was already pre-sold to the US to IFC and the Sundance Channel.

And Soon The Darkness has gone to Brazil (PlayArte.) Jean Becker’s My Afternoons with Marguerite has gone to Spain (Golem).There is also strong buyer and festival interest in Bertrand Tavernier’s The Princess of Montpensier and Rachid Bouchareb’s Outside The Law.

“We had a very good Berlin. We did overall roughly 40% more sales than we did last year,” international sales director at StudioCanal, Harold van Lier, commented of the EFM.

Submarine licensed US rights to The Freebie to Phase 4. Launched last year and headed by CEO Berry Meyerowitz, and Larry Greenberg Phase 4 handled the Canadian theatrical and US DVD release of "Valentino: The Last Emperor" last year and will distribute "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel" Stateside in late spring.

Summit presold Larry Crown to SND for France, Medusa for Italy, Tri Pictures for Spain, Svensk for Scandinavia, Belga for Benelux, Sun for Latin America, Alliance for Canada and Universal for US, thus proving the presale market has been regenerated. The Gardener has gone to E1 for UK, Svensk for Scandinavia, TriPictures for Spain, PanCinema for South Korea. Both Larry Crown and The Gardener went to Lusomundo for Portugal, Fida for Turkey, Jaguar for the Middle East, ACME for the Baltics and Blitz for Croatia and Slovenia.

Svensk licensed Upperdog to ITI for Poland.

T & C, David Jourdan’s new company licensed Teenage Paparazzo to HBO for US TV. Madman for Australia, and Klockworx for Japan.

Telepool licensed When We Leave (Die Fremde) to Ozen Film for Turkey. The Panorama Special title is being released theatrically in Germany by Majestic Filmverleih in March. Thor, the upcoming CGI-animated take on the Norse god of thunder went to Swen for Latin America and Mein Kampf an adaptation of Hungarian playwright George Tabori's farcical work about a young Adolf Hitler, sold to AQS for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Panorama Special and Europe Cinemas Award winner When We Leave sold to ABC Distribution/Cinemien in the Benelux as well as Ozen Film in Turkey. The Door went to Ozen and Company L in South Korea, while Volcano sold to New Select in Japan. Sony Pictures in Germany signed on for Yoko, the new live action/animated feature from Blue Eyes Fiction, the makers of hit German children's film Lilly the Witch. Sony has experience releasing German product locally with Friendship! a German comedy set just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, has already grossed some $15 million in four weeks. Lilly, a Walt Disney release in Germany, grossed about $8.5 million in that territory alone. Telepool has sold the title to some 46 countries worldwide. Disney will bow the second Lily film in Germany in January 2011.

TFI licensed The Rabbi’s Cat to Cineart for Benelux. Jud Suss: Rise and Fall went to UGC for France, E1 for Canada and Vendetta for Australia.

The Match Factory added Panorama film Bad Family to their Berlin slate just before the festival began.They have licensed Submarino to MK2 for France, ABC Cinemien for Benelux, Mikado for Italy, Golem for Spain, Bitters End for Japan, Atom Cinema for Taiwan and Babilla Cine for Colombia and also to ex-Yugo. Berlin Festival's Golden Bear winner Honey has sold quickly throughout Europe, including France (Bodega), Spain (Golem), Austria (Stadtkino Wien), Switzerland (Trigon), Poland (AP Manana), former Yugoslavia (Discovery), Greece (Ama Films), Portugal (Atalanta) and Iran (Farabi). Filmmuseum picked up rights to Kaplanoglu's entire Turkish trilogy -- which also includes Egg (2007) and Milk (2008) for Benelux. The Match Factory is currently in talks for a US deal on Honey and major territories including Germany, Italy, Scandinavia and Brazil are also under negotiation. A US deal for Milk of Sorrow is expected to be announced soon. The Milk of Sorrow sold to Orlando for Israel.

The Works licensed my Toronto favorite I Am Love (Io Sono L'Amore) to my favorite Belgian distributor Cineart for Benelux and to MFA for Germany. Boogie Woogie went to IFC for North America. The Cove was acquired by Japanese distributor Medallion Media who is planning a tentative release date of April 2010 in Japan.

TrustNordisk presold Lars von Trier’s Melancholia for Benelux (Wild Bunch Benelux), Russia (Central Partnership), the former Yugoslavia (MCF MegaCom) and Poland (Gutek). Revenge, directed by Susanne Bier has gone to Spain (Golem), Benelux (Cineart) and Poland (Vivarto). Balls has gone to Israel (New Cinema). Competition title A Somewhat Gentle Man has gone to Poland (Vivarto), CIS/Baltics (Maywin Media) and Benelux (Wild Bunch). Danish competition entry A Family by Pernille Fischer Christensen went to Benelux (Wildbunch) and Poland (Vivarto). Faces in the Crowd presold to Wild Bunch for Germany, ShowTime for South Korea, Gulf for the Middle East, SSG for Taiwan, Leopolis for CIS, MediaPro for Romania and Hungary and Pa-Dora for ex-Yugoslavia. Brotherhood went to Wild Bunch for Benelux. The Candidate went to Lens Media for China and more than 20 other territories.

UTV Motion Pictures has licensed the political satire Peepli Live to Vivarto SP ZOO in Poland. Rapid Eye picked up all German rights ahead of its screening in Special section and plans to release the film in the third quarter of this year. Fashion went to Korea Telecom IPTV service Qook for subscription VOD.

Visit licensed Picture Me to Strand Releasing for US.

Voltage presold Faces in the Crowd to Wild Bunch for Germany and to Showtime for So. Korea, Gulf for the Middle East, SSG for Taiwan, Leopolis in CIS, MediaPro for Romania and Hungary, and Pa-Dora for ex-Yugoslavia. Sundance hit Tucker & Dale Vs Evil went to Film Depot for Russia and CIS countries, Icon Film Distribution in Australia and New Zealand, KSA in Brazil, RCV-E1 in Benelux, and Gulf in the Middle East, Wild Bunch for France and Germany, Svensk in Scandinavia, and Maple in Canada. Sony UK pre-bought UK rights and Andre Boissier’s Revolutionary Media has acquired Eastern Europe and Central Europe rights. A domestic deal is close to be announced.

We Distribution’s Bodyguards and Assassins has closed sales with Metropolitan in France and TMC in Turkey and is close to closing on Japan. The $23 million action film just picked up 18 nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards. The title has already been released across much of Asia where it has grossed more than $50 million. Releases in the UK, Canada, Eastern Europe and Latin America are set for the second quarter of the year. We is hoping to close other major European territories in Berlin, including Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and Portugal.

Wide concluded an all rights deal with Optimale for France on From Beginning To End (Do Comeco Ao Fim, and with Pro-Fun Media for Germany and TLA for US and UK. Leo’s Room went to Optimale for France, TLA Releasing for UK, and Filmklik for Hungary. Gigola went to World Cinema in South Korea and Cineplex for Taiwan. The restored version of Lola Montes went to Russia via Cinéma Prestige. The Children Of Severn presold to Uplink for Japan. Alain Resnais’ documentaries collection went to Imovision for Brazil. The documentary Two In The Wave, about the friendship and rivalry between French New Wave directors Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard went to the US (Lorber Films), Canada (FunFilm), UK (New Wave), France (Les Films du Paradoxe, Brazil (Imovision) and Japan (Cetera). All That I Love went to Switzerland (Cineworx). House of Branching Love went to Canada’s Union Pictures. Jung and Laurent Boileau’s animation feature Approved For Adoption was selected as one of the projects for this year’s Cartoon Movie co-production market in Lyon with shooting scheduled for this August, with Cineart already onboard for Benelux. Gay themed Vilromance was picked up by UK’s TLA Releasing.

Wild Bunch licensed Ken Loach's Route Irish and Francois Ozon's Potiche to Cineart for Benelux. No One Knows About Persian Cats went to IFC for North America. Zhang Yimou’s A Woman A Gun And A Noodle Shop sold in 16 territories including France (Metropolitan), the UK (Momentum), Scandinavia (Cinema Mondo), Spain (Golem), Israel (Shani) and the Middle East (Teleview). Sony Pictures Classics has US, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Discussions with distributors in Italy and Germany are ongoing. Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me, which was pre-sold nearly everywhere and which recently went to IFC Films for the US, is under discussion in Germany. Wild Bunch has chosen to hold off on Japan and Hong Kong for the Hong Kong International Film Festival, where the film is screening. This is also due to the limited number of Japanese buyers, just eight this year, who attended Berlin. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s The Extra Man further sold to Benelux (Imagine), Hungary (Cinetel) and CIS (Russian Report), among others. Kim Chapiron’s Dog Pound was sold to the UK’s Optimum Releasing, Scanbox Entertainment in Scandinavia, MultiVision in Indonesia and Paradisio Entertainment in Benelux. Irish Route and Potiche went to Cineart for Benelux.

Documentary The Revelation Of The Pyramids went to 16 countries including Canada (Remstar), Spain (Vertigo), the UK (Optimum), Mexico (Quality), Columbia (Babilla), Korea (Thomas Entertainment), Taiwan (CMC) and China (Champs Lis) and Russia and CIS (Film Depot) among others.

Alta has acquired Four Lions which premiered in last month's Sundance World Cinema Competition. It sold in 16 territories including Canada (E1 Entertainment), Spain (Alta Films), Italy (Videa-CDE), Iceland (Greenlight), Yugoslavia (MCF), Israel (Shani), India (WEG), Singapore (Cathay) and South Africa (Video Vision).

Pre-sales on The Burma Conspiracy were strong with the film going to Romania (Independenta), the Middle East (Teleview), Indonesia (Multivision), China (Champs Lis), Bulgaria (Pro Films), Ukraine (Aurora), Portugal (Lusomondo), Germany (Wild Bunch) and Benelux (Cineart). Of Gods And Men had pre-sales in Benelux (Imagine), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Lusomondo), Romania (Independenta) and the Middle East (Teleview). Happy Few sold in nine territories including Germany (Atlas), Spain (Festival Films), Israel (Shapira) and Singapore (Festive).

Leila, from director Audrey Estrougo, sold in Bulgaria (Pro Films), Hungary (DMC), Czech Republic (Hollywood Classics), South Africa (Video Vision) and Korea (Mars), among several others. Pierre Salvadori’s Full Treatment sold in Switzerland (Frenetic), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Lusomondo), the Baltic States (Acme) and China (Champs Lis). Finally A Distant Neighborhood went to Spain (Golem), Italy (Bim), Australia (Transmission) and China (Champs Lis).

Zodiak Entertainment Distribution founded in the UK by Lorenzo Pellicioli and handling the Millenium trilogy The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and of course The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, has sold the trilogy to to more than 40 countries worldwide including Lumiere for Benelux, Frenetic for Switzerland, Alliance for Canada along with Italy, Spain and Germany.

The Swedish group is also negotiating with Sony Pictures for an English-language adaptation of the trilogy, which Scott Rudin will produce along with Yellow Bird's Ole Sondberg and Soren Staermose.

Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" crime trilogy continues to push the box-office limits of what a European title can deliver. Taken together, the three titles from Sweden's Yellow Bird -- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest -- are closing in on a $150 million worldwide box-office take. That's with the first film still to bow in the US, UK and Australia, and the second just starting its box-office run outside Scandinavia. The Girl Who Played With Fire opened to an impressive $2 million in Germany this weekend, actually topping the bow of the first feature in the series. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (aka Men Who Hate Women) sold to Edko for Hong Kong, Encore for Singapore, Conquest for Brazil, Independenta for Romania, AS Tallinnfilm for Estonia, Ablo for Hungary, Czech and Slovak Republics bringing the total to more than 50 countries and more than $84m gross so far.

Coproduction Market

UK distributor Artificial Eye has boarded Barnaby Southcombe’s debut feature I, Anna. The $4m film, presented at the Co-Production Market earlier this week, will star Charlotte Rampling, who is Southcombe’s mother. The noir thriller is the first title from London-based production and financing outfit Embargo Films, headed by Southcombe and producer Felix Vossen. Ilann Girard’s Arsam is co-producing.

Other news

Paladin, formed last fall by distribution veteran Mark Urman, will release Angela Ismailos’ doc Great Directors, celebrating films and filmmaking in ten interviews with the world’s most acclaimed living directors. The documentary had its world premiere at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. Paladin will open the film in New York, Los Angeles, and other top markets in late Spring, 2010.

Cheryl Dunye’s Panorama entry The Owls has gone to the recently launched non-profit distribution platform The Film Collaborative of Orly Ravid and Jeffrey Winter. It has also sold to Peccadillo for UK.

First Independent acquired Holy Rollers, a Sundance title, for US.

US rights to writer/director Marc Forby’s Hawaiian biopic Princess Kaiulani has been picked up by Roadside Attractions. Roadside will release the film theatrically in late spring of 2010 and Lionsgate will release the film on DVD and other US ancillary markets through Roadside’s output deal. The film had its world premiere last fall at the Hawaii International Film Festival, where it won an Audience Award.    

Some Rotterdam Fest & Cinemart Tallies on Women and Latinos

Before going into my Women Directors Tracking which I have vowed to continue until women reach a parity with men in the film business and Latino Directors groove, I want to thank Howard Feinstein for watching the most obscure films of Rotterdam to find the jewels!  Scratching Below the Surface for Some Rotterdam Fest Gems - indieWIRE.  Kudos!  I wish I could have seen these!

Howard spotted this one: "A young woman named Rusudan Pirveli brought to the 'Bright Future' section Susa, another story of hard financial times. 'The Lost Generation' is represented here by the absent father of an adolescent boy, who, working for his mother, sells bootleg vodka in bottles. Sadly, he lives under the delusion that dad’s return would ease his and his mom’s hardship. Like Koguashvili, Pirveli eschews unnecessary authorial intervention: Both directors understand all too well that they are living amidst powerful, if sad, narratives, which can carry their own weight without a lot of artsy fuss.

Other women directors of festival films: Les signes vitaux aka Morbid Fascination by Sophie Deraspe (France) which will also be in SXSW, the multi prize winning and Latina too! Agua fria de mar by Paz Fabrega (Costa Rica), Fuwaku no Adagio aka Autumn Adagio byInoue Tsuki (Japan), Li fa dian de nu er aka My Daughter by Charlotte Lay Kuen Lim (Malaysia), La vie au Ranch by Sophie Letourneur (France), Mama by Nikoly Renard and Yelena Renard (Russia), My Queen Karo by Dorothee van den Berghe (Belgium/ Netherlands), Ejszaka, hajnal aka Europa, East by Anita Doron (Hungary), Everyday is a Holiday by Dima El-Horr (France/ Germany/ Lebanon), Listicky aka Foxes by Mira Fornay (Czech Replblic/ slovakia/ Ireland), God No Say So by Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky (Sierra Leone/ Switzerland), My Tehran for Sale by Granaz Moussavi (Australia/ Iran), Paju by Park Chan-Ok (So. Korea), El Pasante aka The Intern by Clara Picasso (Argentina), Pepperminta by Pipilotti Rist (Austria/ Switzerland), Separations by Andrea Seligmann Silva, Mieke Bui (Netherlands), Lost Persons Area by Caroline Strubbe (Belgium/ Hungary/ Germany/ Netherlands), Hotel Atlantico by Suzana Amaral (Brazil), White Material by Claire Denis (France), Once Upon a Time Proletarian by Guo Xiaolu (UK), Lourdes by Jessica Hausner (Austria/ France/ Germany), Tian shui wei di ye yu su aka Night & Fog by Ann Hui (Hong Kong), Ruzhaye Sabz aka Green Days by Hana Makhmalbaf (France/ Iran), Russian Lessons by Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya (Russia/ Norway), Zanan bedoone mardan aka Women Without Men by Shirin Neshat (Austria/ France/ Germany), A falta que me faz aka Like Water Through Stone by Marilia Rocha (Brazil), Synok aka Sonny by Larisa Sadilova (Russia), Vlees aka Meat by Maartje Seyferth and Victor Nieuwenhuijs (Netherlands), De vliegenierster van Kazbek aka The Aviatrix of Kazbek by Ineke Smits (Belgium/ Netherlands), Mundane History by Anoucha Suwichakornpoing (Thailand). Total: 30 films, hardly a record breaking number. 

Cinemart projects have a better percentage with 11 of the 33 projects and include By the Time It Gets Dark by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand) awarded the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant of €15,000. The jury, chaired by documentary filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak, was impressed by the “unconventional episodic storytelling” of Suwichakornpong's proposal – a highly personal take on contemporary Thailand.  The award, now in its tenth year, is given to a CineMart project by a filmmaker from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Caribbean, to support early-stage development. Anocha Suwichakornpong's feature debut, Mundane History, was also competing the IFFR 2010 Tiger strand.

Other Cinemart women's project included Erased by Patrice Toye (Belgium) who arrived directly from Sundance where her latest project The Spring Ritual was awarded the NHK Award, Island by JO Eun-kyung (South Korea), Je suis mort mai j’ai des amis by Guillaume Malandrin and Stephanie Malandrin (Belgium), Layla Fourie by Pia Marais (So. Africa/ Sweden/ Germany) winner of Art France Cinema Award for the best CineMart 2010 Project. The drama, written by Marais (who won a 2007 Tiger for her debut Die Unerzogenen), is set in present-day South Africa and revolves around a single mother who works as a polygraphist in a casino. The €10,000 prize is intended to support the production of independent filmmaking.

Also in the Cinemart: Leones by Jazmin Lopez (Argentina), A Life Half Lived by Denie Pentecost (Australia), Malmi Murderaz by Susanna Helke (Finland), My Sister Came By Today by Yan Ting Yuen (Hong Kong), Ola’s Universe by Coco Schrijber (Netherlands), Postcards from the Zoo by Edwin (Indonesia), Todos Nosotros by Paz Fabrega (Costa Rica) Tiger Award winner for Agua fria de mar.

And Latino directors: Agua fria de mar by Paz Fabrega, prize winning Alamar by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio (Mexico), El Sol aka The Sun by Ayar Blasco (Argentina), El camino entre dos puntos aka The Way Between Two Points by Sebastian Diaz Morales (Argentina/ Netherlands), Vaho aka Becloud by Alejandro Gerber Bicecci (Mexico) and Los viajes del viento aka The Wind Journeys by Ciro Guerro (Argentina/ Colombia/ Netherlands/ Germany), Avenida Brasilia Formosa aka Defiant Brasilia by Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil), El calambre aka The Cramp by Matias Meyer (Mexico/ France), Manuel De Ribera by Christopher Murray and Pable Carrera (Chile), Norteado aka Northless by Rigoberto Perezcano (Mexico/ Spain), El Pasante aka The Intern by Clara Picasso (Argentina), The Sentimental Engine Slayer by Omar Rodgriguez Lopez (USA), Hiroshima by Pablo Stoll (Uruguay/ Colombia/ Argentina/ Spain), Hotel Atlantico by Suzana Amaral (Brazil), Rabia by Sebastian Cordero (Colombia/ Mexico/ Spain), Moscou aka Moscow by Eduard Coutinho (Brazil), Todo, en fin, el silencio lo ocupaba aka All Things Were Now Overtaken by Silence by Nicolas Pereda (Mexico/ Canada), A falta que me faz aka Like Water Through Stone by Marilia Rocha (Brazil). Cinemart projects include Another World by Alexis Dos Santos (Argentina/ Germany/ Mexico), Heli by Amat Escalante (Mexico), Leones by Jazmin Lopez (Argentina)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hollywood’s Creative Coalition and Education

The Creative Coalition, the foremost nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. During the Sundance Film Festival, it hosted numerous invitational activities including PSAs to support programs that provide family viewing movies and a lunch featuring teachers making a difference sponsored by ING Foundation. In light of the message of the Sundance doc Waiting For Superman about the state of education in the United States today, this lunch provided much needed inspiration and hope.

Actor and Co-President of The Creative Coalition, Tim Daly along with actor Wilmer Valderrama, reunited with the teachers who made a difference in their lives. This annual event, held at the Film Festival since 2007, spotlights the “unsung” heroes of education who have made a lasting impact on generations of students and calls attention to the significance and need for outstanding school teachers who can mentor students to achieve their greatest potential.

Tim honored Joyce Devlin, his drama teacher from Putman School in Vermont ,who discussed the value of actors working together in generating a collective energy to create value.

Her advice to new teachers in arts education, and to my mind to anyone listening or reading this blog is to be honest, be political, have good ideas of what you want to accomplish and know that you must work through a system. Patience, diplomacy and continuing education are the values teachers must maintain in teaching students to work naturally with their own impulses.

Wilmer Valderrama, who at the age of 14 moved to Woodland Hills California from Venezuela took up acting as a way of teaching himself English by being forced to read, speak out loud and to speak in sentences. That eventually led to a love of acting. Valderrama loves to work with youth, does keynote speaking for kids and tells them that they can get so much more from life and can enjoy life so much more when they are self-made. He advises kids to invest in themselves, that they are not missing anything by staying in school, to take advantage of making mistakes in school now rather than later in life when the mistakes will count so much more. He advises teachers and every one older to tell kids Yes They Can! They do not hear that enough.

The teacher he honored was Mr. Edward Tucker of Taft High School in Woodland Hills California who taught him to always excel. Mr. Tucker, born in Texas, announced that first impressions are a big deal. Seeing him the first time does make a big impression and it did on Valderamma as much as Valderamma made a first impression on Mr. Tucker.

Mr. Tucker’s advise is that teachers (and anyone) should remember that they were students themselves once and it should be shared with the students. Be yourself! If the kids like you, they’ll do your work. You have to almost teach the students when they’re not looking…You can sometimes get their attention to focus for one minute, but it’s difficult.

Mr. Tucker lays out three rules to students in his first class:
1. When I speak, Look At Me.
2. When I write, Write It In Your Notebook.
3. When you take a test, Give Me An A, or don’t take the test.

Valderrama remembers that Mr. Tucker gave a pop quiz, and they were allowed to use their notes. Because he had followed the three rules, his notes, which he had not read but had written carefully, contained every answer to the quiz exactly as it had been written. Success was sweet to this 14 year old immigrant.

The Creative Coalition ( is the premiere 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

About the ING Foundation
The ING Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on programs in the areas of financial literacy, children’s education, diversity, and environmental sustainability.
For more information, visit

Friday, February 5, 2010

Berlin Begins

Berlin begins for me with a two day seminar at Deutsche Welle Akademie aimed at acquainting film festival directors from Africa and Asia with EFM and networking opportunities.  An arresting array of festivals, large and small include Vilole Images from Zambia, Thai Short Film & Video Festival, Zanzibar International Film Festival, KwaZulu Natal African Film Festival, Encounters South African International Documentary FF from Capetown, Cinemalaya from the Philippines, Festival International du Cinema d'Auteurs from Rabat Morocco, Jakarta International Film Festival, Hello Festival of Motion Picture Arts from Jakarta, Ahmedabad International Film Festival from India, Southern Pocket Film Festival from Guangzhou, China and Burundi International Film Festival.

Any readers looking to network during the Berlinale, especially Film Festivals looking to expand and partner up, these festivals are all specially selected by German news agency Deutsche Welle.  You are invited to their reception February 17 6-8 at the Helene Schwarz Cafe in the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Support Your Social Issue Documentary

Sandi Dubowski  (Trembling Before G-d, A Jihad for Love) whose Budrus is now premiering at the Panorama section of the Berlinale  (where a total of 54 films from 29 countries have been selected, of which 31 are world premieres and 18 directorial debuts) spoke at Sundance FF's panel discussion on new modes of distribution entitled Is There A Doctor In The House moderated by IndieWire's beloved Eugene Hernandez, unselfishly offered these links to organizations which support social issue docs:

Active Voice (link), BAVC Producer’s Institute for New Technologies (link), Brave New Films (link), Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation (link), Chicken and Egg Productions (link), Cinereach (link),  The Fledgling Fund (link), The Good Pitch (link), Impact Partners (link), the Sundance Documentary Fund (link), Tribeca All Access and the Tribeca Gucci Documentary Fund (link), Workbook Project (link), and many more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Releasing on Digital Platforms - First Samplings

Thomas Mai of Festival Darlings who is hosting a conference in Berlin on crowd sourcing says that a filmmaker can expect to make between $50 - $1000 per month per platform (some more, some less).  If there are also social media campaigns, this number can increase a lot. A release should go to about 25 -40 platforms, including iTunes/ Amazon/ NetFlix/ Hulu etc. Making a digital master is not expensive, but each platform uses its own format so a filmmaker might need to come up with 12-15 different format versions which can cost about $500 each. The master should cost around $1200-$1500. 

To book a place at "Dawn of The Micro Major Film Producer: Everything you want to know about VOD and Crowdfunding"" on 16 February at 09:00 until 1:00 at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, click here.

Thomas has come a long way as has film itself since he began at the onset of Lars Von Trier's company Trust when Von Trier was calling the shots for indie filmmakers with his Dogma 95 rules of filmmaking. He has since sold his international sales company to Nordisk and Thomas has moved on as the only European international sales agent (perhaps with the exception of Celluloid Dreams) to fully embrace the digital technology as the answer to the crisis faced by international sales and distribution.

The quick and dirty on Sundance film's Bass Ackwards which went on You Tube during the festival for a limited time per producer Gil Holland:  Going the web route is possible for them because the film only cost $30,000 to make. The YouTube experiment is a first for the festival – a half-dozen current and former Sundance entries are being promoted on the video services front page for full download.

By the second day of the festival, “Bass Ackwards” had 289 downloads, Holland said – generating about $600 for the filmmakers. “That’s about 2 percent of our shooting budget.” said the producer.

So the first experiment has occurred but in my opinion, the "experts" are being too quick to predict results!  See the report below:

UPDATE: NewTeeVee has this report on the You Tube experiment:

Written by Ryan Lawler
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 at 4:39 PM PT
YouTube Users Pass on Paying for Movies

Indie filmmakers looking to YouTube as a possible new distribution outlet might want to think twice, based on weekend returns from the video site’s new movie rental service. Last week, the online video site teamed up with the Sundance Film Festival to make a small selection of critically acclaimed full-length films available for rent for 48 hours.

But, despite a post on the YouTube blog and pickup from various tech blogs, very few users have actually taken YouTube up on the offer. Based on a quick look through the movies that were made available, it appears that YouTube viewers rented the five films less than 1,500 times in total, or an average of 300 times each. At $3.99 a piece, that means the indie films generated less than $6,000 in total sales over the course of the weekend, or about $1,200 per movie — and that’s before YouTube took its cut for hosting the files.

Video Views:

Bass Ackwards 308
Homewrecker 308
The Cove 303
Children of Invention 301
One Too Many Mornings 250

That’s bad news for the films involved, and could be bad news for YouTube, which is looking for new ways to monetize videos through sales and rentals. While the films are independently produced and haven’t generated the same amount of buzz as some Hollywood blockbusters, the low view counts are surprising, given the buzz before the film festival and prominent “featured” placement from YouTube.

The good news for YouTube is that it’s still expected to become profitable this year. In a recent research note, Barclay’s Capital analyst Doug Anmuth suggested that YouTube would add to Google’s bottom line for the first time in 2010, with revenues growing more than 55 percent year-over-year to $700 million.

Take Digital Control of Your Project: Berlin workshop with Stacey Parks and Thomas Mai for

Thomas Mai of Festival Darlings invites you to "Dawn of The Micro Major Film Producer: Everything you want to know about VOD and Crowdfunding"" on 16 February at 09:00 until 1:00 at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin.  Support comes from Screen Daily as does the text of this blog.  I post it here because Thomas has come a long way as has film itself since he began at the onset of Lars Von Trier's company Trust when Von Trier was calling the shots for indie filmmakers with his Dogma 95 rules of filmmaking.  He has since sold his international sales company to Nordisk and Thomas has moved on as the only European international sales agent (perhaps with the exception of Celluloid Dreams) to fully embrace the digital technology as the answer to the crisis faced by international sales and distribution.

The event aims to inform attendees how to stay on top of the changes in financing and distribution models and teach producers how to take control of their projects in the new world. For more information or to book you seat, please click here.

Parks and Mai will cover topics such as:
- engaging and aggregating your audience via social media platforms;
- bringing on marketing and promotional partners for your film at various stages of production;
- executing effective email campaigns to your target audience;
- leveraging crowd funding for financing your next film and combining it with traditional forms of financing;
- combining crowd funding with other traditional forms of financing;
- optimizing your film’s website for direct-to-consumer sales;
- maximizing VOD revenue:
- capitalizing on specialty screenings.

“The whole film business as we know it is rapidly changing and for the independent producer it is one of the best times ever to be a producer,” said Mai. “No more gatekeepers and no more exclusivity means that you can fully finance, shoot and distribute your own films worldwide through the internet. It is now possible to be truly independent and make money while you are sleeping as a producer. We have created this event to help producers not only understand the new tools but also teach them how to use them.”
Added Parks: “We want to teach film producers how to leverage all the new opportunities out there to make better films for audiences, and to actually be able to sustain a career making films. That’s everything from fund raising, to promoting, and of course distribution. There are so many new and different platforms out there, and we want to show filmmakers how to make the most of all of it.”

Parks has been a sales agent since 2001 and, after several years in the trenches of film and programme distribution, wrote the book “The Insider’s Guide To Independent Film Distribution” in 2007. At the same time, she launched, a website dedicated to educating film-makers about film financing, distribution and marketing. In 2009, she launched Media Sparks Entertainment and currently focuses on film and TV projects for all media platforms.

Mai, who was formerly head of Trust Film Sales from 1998 to 2000 and head of new business at TrustNordisk from 2006 to 2009, has produced four feature films and is a well-known speaker on new digital possibilities.

Sundance Part 1 Comes to a Close

After the jam-packed World Cinema filmmakers' meetings Wednesday morning and my last screening of Women Without Men, we are flew home to LA for two days before taking off for Rotterdam Cinemart and Berlin.

Sundance has been very fruitful, filled with meaningful meetings, conversations with industry players and a good sampling of films.

The tone of Returning to Roots does pervade, mainly because the number of industryites seems really sparse and the streets are so quiet and the off-site swag lounges have disappeared.  Industryites meet at parties where they can actually hear one another's thoughts and see each other at screenings.  Gone are the lodges giving massages to the likes of Paris Hilton and stars with nothing to do with the Sundance Film Festival.  Back to basics, if not back to roots.

Ticket sales are up, domestic sales down, and I would say international visitor numbers are up.

Again the documentaries are dominant.

The biggest groundswell here comes from the discussions about digital exhibition and marketing. One year has made a huge difference here and the indies have recognized the vast difference between their business models and that of the majors.

That marks a true return to roots and is cause for optimism and a new proliferation of distribution companies.