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DISTRIBUTION Scandinavia

Cannes market positive despite skyrocketing prices (1)

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With half a dozen pan-Nordic distribution companies in the highly competitive Scandinavian market fighting mostly for mainstream A-list, English-language films and a few arthouse titles with crossover potential, sellers were not afraid to ask skyrocketing prices for the hottest films at the recent Cannes Film Festival market.

“We Scandinavian distributors all talked to each other and agreed that prices were higher than ever,” said Jim Frazee of Scanbox Entertainment, which picked up Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Pathé. “This is a real problem for us in Scandinavia, where general admissions have been falling recently. In Norway, for instance, we witnessed a 17% drop during the first half of 2007, which represents the biggest decrease in Europe”.

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“The whole independent film world is at a turning point as the market has become more unpredictable,” noted Timo T. Lahtinen, CEO of pan-Nordic distribution company Smile Entertainment. “There is a lot of financing available because of tax incentives, notably in the UK and Germany, and as a result too many films are being made. Producers should be more aware of audiences and realistic about the potential of their films”.

A selection of deals closed during Cannes follows.

NonStop Entertainment acquired four titles from Wild Bunch: Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile
]
by Cristian Mungiu, Barbet Schroeder’s documentary Terror’s Advocate [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Marc Caro’s sci-fi title Dante 01 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(in post-production) and the animated film Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure.

The company also acquired Cecilia Miniucchi’s Expired, which closed the Critic’s Week; The Nines, the directorial debut of US scriptwriter John August (Big Fish); the Italian hit by Daniele Luchetti My Brother is an Only Child [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daniele Luchetti
interview: Riccardo Tozzi
film profile
]
(sold by ThinkFilm); Nick Love’s Outlaw [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Pathé Pictures); Highlander: the Source (Handmade Films); and the Fortissimo offerings Live! and Eye in the Sky.

All films were bought for Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. My Brother is an Only Child, Terror’s Advocate, Highlander: The Source, Eye in the Sky, and Dante 01 were also bought for Iceland, and Expired, The Nines and Live! for the three Baltic states.

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