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In Toronto, Fox Searchlight remained the strong buyer, picking up 'The Wrestler' for the highest sales figure of the market, but still less than $4,000,000 and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, the other hit of the festival. Summit, an A list international sales agent who entered the domestic distribution business this year also acquired ‘Hurt Locker' for U.S.. Both 'The Wrestler' and 'Hurt Locker' were packaged, financed and represented by CAA and both were significant in that only U.S. rights were acquired (without Canada) at a good high price. IFC Films continued its acquisitions activities for IFC in Theaters, its day and date distribution platform making independent films available to a national audience in theaters and on demand simultaneously, buying ‘Flame & Citron’, ‘Fear Me Not’, ‘Everlasting Moments’ and ‘Che’. Sony Pictures Classics was also active acquiring distribution rights to ‘Every Little Step: The Journey of a Chorus Line’, ‘Faubourg 36’ (aka ‘Paris 36’). The micro distributors such as Strand, Kino, Zeitgeist, Panorama, etc. continued business as usual, which generally means hanging back until there are no obvious offers for a film and then coming in with a modest proposal.
Here are the international sales agents whose sales (licensing of distribution rights on behalf of the producers) have been reported thus far:
Bavaria Film International licensed ‘Krabat’ to SPI for Poland and Romania and to Film Depot for Russia ahead of the first public screening. Strong interest is also reported from Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latin America, Japan and USA. ‘The Window’ (aka ‘La Ventana’) sold to Cinemien for Benelux, Imovison for Brazil. A deal with France is expected to close. ‘Cherry Blossoms’ went to Against Gravity for Poland. ‘Empty Nest’ has interest from U.S. as does ‘Restless’.
Celluloid Dreams has acquired all international sales rights to ‘Soul Power’ from Submarine Entertainment who was repping the film. There are offers in major territories soon to close. It also acquired ‘Youssou NDour: I Bring What I Love’ for world sales. Oscilloscope acquired it for U.S. ‘Birdwatchers’ sold to Artificial Eye for the U.K., Filmladen for Austria, Trigon for Switzerland, Pandora for Germany, Cinemien for Benelux, Hopscotch for Australia and New Zealand. ‘Mark Of An Angel’ has sold to Metrodome for the UK, Odeon for Greece, Seville for Canada, Xenix for Switzerland. Diaphana is about to gross $5m with its French theatrical release and Lumiere released in Belgium. ‘Achilles and the Tortoise’ sold to Odeon for France and Maywin for Russia.
Cinema Management Group has closed several territories on ‘The People Speak’ which screened 20 minutes in Toronto FF Special Screening. ‘Zambezia’, ‘Killer Bean Forever’ and ‘The People Speak’ went to Vision Film for Poland and to Film Pop for Turkey.
Elle Driver licensed ’35 Rhums’ to New Wave Films for the U.K.
Fandango Portobello licensed ‘Mid August Lunch' (aka'Pranzo di ferragosto’) to Le Pacte for France, Pandora for Germany, Cinemien for Benelux, Xenix for Switzerland, Filmladen for Austria.
Films Distribution licensed ‘Sea Wall’ to Axiom for the U.K.
Finecut licensed 'Daytime Drinking' to Japan's Eleven Arts who will release it in 30 North American cities. Fortissimo Films signed a six picture deal with Canadian distributor Maximum Films for ‘$9.99’, ‘Laila's Birthday’, ‘Country Wedding’, ‘Serbis’, ‘Native Dancer’, and ‘Tokyo Sonata’. ‘Disgrace’ also went to Maximum. ‘Every Little Step: The Journey of A Chorus Line’ went to Sony Pictures Classics for North America and Australia and New Zealand. ‘Serbis’ and 'Tokyo Sonata' went to Regent for North America.
Hanway Films licensed ‘Of Time and City’ to Strand Releasing for all U.S. rights. ‘Genova’ went to ThinkFilm for North America just before Toronto. Wanda acquired all rights for Spain.
Maximum licensed ‘Sugar‘ to Axiom for the U.K.
Momento licensed ‘Goodbye Solo’ to Imagine for Benelux, Axiom for the U.K. and Xenix for Switzerland. It also has offers from France, Portugal, Greece and Italy among others.
MK2 licensed ‘24 City’ to The Cinema Guild for U.S.
Pathe licensed ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ to Warner Bros. and Fox Searchlight for North America. ‘Faubourg 36’ (aka ‘Paris 36’) went to Sony Pictures Classics for U.S., Australasia, and Scandinavia just before Toronto.
Rai Trade licensed ‘Il Papa di Giovanna’ to Paradis for France, ABC for Benelux, Palace of Australia and New Zealand, MFD for Switzerland.
Roissy has licensed 'Seraphine' to Metrodome for U.K. and Ireland and to Rialto for Australia and New Zealand.
Sahamonkol licensed 'Chocolate' to Magnet for North America.
The Match Factory licensed ‘Flame & Citron’ to IFC Films for U.S. ‘Teza’ went to Trigon for Switzerland and Ripley’s Film for Italy.
TrustNordisk licensed ‘Fear Me Not’ and ‘Everlasting Moments’ and 'Heaven's Heart' to IFC Films for North America. Visit Films licensed five titles including ‘Hannah Takes The Stairs’, ‘LOL’, and ‘Kissing on The Mouth’, ‘Dance Party USA’ and ‘Quiet City’ to Beyond Entertainment for Australia/ New Zealand.
Voltage licensed ‘The Hurt Locker’ to Summit for U.S.
Wild Bunch licensed ‘Che’ to IFC Films. ‘Ponyo’ went to Lucky Red for Italy.