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Beginners leads final rush of deals at Toronto

As a remarkably productive Toronto wound down [19] Focus Features closed a deal for worldwide rights excluding several territories to Mike Mills’ drama Beginners.

The distributor took all rights except Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Benelux after negotiating the deal with UTA, which separately licensed rights to MK2 in France and Hopscotch in Australia and is in talks on the remaining few territories.

Meanwhile a rejuvenated Image Entertainment paid seven figures for US rights to Passion Play one year after the project was announced. Mitch Glazer directed Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox. ICM packaged Passion Play and represented rights in the negotiation.

On Friday [17] Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions acquired US rights from ICM and CAA to Everything Must Go, while IFC pounced on its third film of the festival, taking US rights to Barry Blaustein’s Peep World, and Anchor Bay acquired English-speaking rights to Adam Wingard’s Vanguard entry A Horrible Way To Die.

The Beginners deal concludes not only a prolific week of deal-making but a terrific festival for producer Leslie Urdang of Olympus Pictures. Lionsgate closed a deal on Thursday [16] for North American rights to Rabbit Hole, which Urdang also produced.

Urdang produced Beginners with Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy. Olympus Pictures and Parts & Labor are the production companies.

Ewan McGregor plays an illustrator who explores the honesty of his own relationships after his 71-year-old widower father played by Christopher Plummer comes out of the closet. Melanie Laurent from Inglourious Basterds also stars. Mills previously directed Thumbsucker.

Meanwhile Oscilloscope Laboratories acquired all North American rights to Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, a darkly comical re-imagining of the most classic of the Father Christmas myth.

O-Scope is looking at December release and the Finnish and English-language film will receive its US premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin this coming weekend.

Canadian distributor D Films picked up exclusive Canadian rights in all media to Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte, winner of the Europa Cinemas Label for best European film at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes.

D Films will release the tale of anarchic goats and reincarnation in tandem with Kino Lorber in the first quarter of 2011.

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