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CANNES 2009 Market / France

European sales clinched despite buyers’ caution

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While the competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival reaches its halfway point, with Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet emerging as the favourite among panels of French and international critics, the Film Market seems to be dominated by a “wait-and-see” attitude, with distributors biding their time and hoping for the possibility of lower sales prices. Nevertheless, several titles sold by French companies have managed to win over buyers in the first few days. Below is a non- exhaustive overview.

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Kinolgy is enjoying immense success with Joann Sfar’s Je t’aime… Moi non plus (see news), acquired on the basis of the promo-reel for the UK (Optimum Releasing), Germany (Prokino), Scandinavia (Svensk Filmindustri), Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Pathé) and Canada (Seville).

Moreover, Warner Bros. France has bought the 2010 theatrical distribution rights for Antoine Charreyron’s The Prodigies (see news) from Kinology.

The UK’s Optimum Releasing has also acquired A Prophet from Celluloid Dreams and Gabe Ibanez’s Spanish feature Hierro [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gabe Ibáñez
film profile
]
from Wild Bunch, who also sold it to Paramount for Spain.

Busy company Wild Bunch has also found a US distributor for collective Romanian film Tales From The Golden Age [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(IFC Films) and for Jan Kounen’s French feature Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics.

As a distributor, Wild Bunch has bought the German rights to Christopher Smith’s medieval thriller Black Death (currently shooting with a cast that includes Dutch actress Carice van Houten), to be released by Central Films (partnership between Wild Bunch and Senator). Moreover, Vincent Maraval’s sales team has added to its line-up Italian director Nanni Moretti’s next film, We Have A Pope, which will be co-produced and distributed in France by Le Pacte and is set to shoot this summer.

Meanwhile, Les Films du Losange has sold Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile
]
to Sony Pictures Classics for the US, while StudioCanal has negotiated sales for the same territory with IFC for the three UK thrillers in The Red Riding Trilogy (Julian Jarrold’s 1974, James Marsh’s 1980 and Anand Tucker’s 1983).

StudioCanal has also sold to UMG all the North American distribution rights for Belgian director Ben Stassen’s forthcoming 3D animated film, Around the World in 50 Years.

Finally, Films Distribution has announced sales of Stephen Burke’s Irish feature Happy Ever Afters for Germany (Telepool) and Australia; Denis Dercourt’s French film Tomorrow at Dawn [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Denis Dercourt
film profile
]
for Greece (Word of Mouth); Hippolyte Girardot and Nobuhiro Suwa’s French/Japanese co-production Yuki and Nina [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
for Korea; and Daniel Monzon’s Spanish thriller Cell 211 for Germany (Senator).

(Translated from French)

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