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Cannes 2011 Market Buzz: UK and international sellers

Hot projects from UK and international sales companies include two Kevin Macdonald films, Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, and Margaret Thatcher story The Iron Lady.

For US sellers’ buzz titles, click here.

Editor’s note: This list does not include any films which are in official selection, which are profiled separately byScreen.

UK SELLERS
Protagonist has just announced Kevin Macdonald to direct the film adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s lauded novel How I Live Now, about teengaers coping with world war. Jeremy Brock and Tony Grisoni adapted the script. Protagonist’s slate also includes Bart Layton’s hot documentary The Imposter, about Frederic Bourdin, who convinced authorities and a griveing family that he was their lost child. Executive producers include Oscar winners John Battsek of Passion Pictures and Simon Chinn. It will be delivered in the autumn.

Simon Crowe’s SC Films has taken on LA-set action thriller Bad Ass, starring Danny Trejo as a Vietnam veteran who has to search for his friend’s killer.

Just prior to Cannes, Celsius Entertainment snapped up world sales rights to Norwegian crowdpleaser Turn Me On, Goddammit(which arrives at the Marché fresh from its buzzy screenings in Tribeca.) Writer/director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen’s high school comedy, about adolescent lust and growing pains, is already generating buyer interest. Celsius has also taken foreign rights on another Tribeca premiere, Gabby Dellal’s thriller Angel’s Crest (Cinetic has US and E1 Canada). This stars Thomas Dekker, Jeremy Piven and Mira Sorvino.

HanWay has come on board to sell Mike Newell’s new version of Charles Dickens classic, Great Expectations, produced by Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.

Intandem is talking up its new prison warder drama Screwed, starring James D’Arcy and Noel Clarke. The film, a market premiere directed by Reg Travis, is based on former prison officer Ronnie Thompson’s hard-hitting memoir. Lionsgate has already picked up UK theatrical rights.

Bankside will have the market premiere of Famke Janssen’s directorial debut Bringing Up Bobby, starring Milla Jovovich, Marcia Cross and Bill Pullman.

AV Pictures will be be beginning world sales on three new films, Jump, a ‘modern urban fairytale’ telling the stories of threegroups of characters whose stories interweave on New Year’s Eve and starring StreetDance’s Nichola Burley; Robert Heath’s teen thriller Truth Or Dare and thriller Twenty8k starring Parminder Nagra.

Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall leads the cast in Moviehouse’s comedy Wild Blue Yonder.Brian Cox and James Fox co-star in the film, about a retired sailor who has promised his best friend of 40 years a burial at sea. Moviehouse is also giving a market premiere to Craig Lahiff’s Aussie noir thriller, Swerve, and is pre-selling The Power, the new horror film from Paul Hills.

Armie Hammer from The Social Network will star in Lightstream Picture’s thriller 2:22, about an air traffic controller who is led by a strange blinding light to a mysterious woman, an old double murder case and a second chance at love. UK-based Timeless Films will commence pre-sales in Cannes and production is set to begin in Sydney this autumn.

High Point is selling The Wicker Tree, Robin Hardy’s followup to the 1973 horror classic The Wicker Man.

The Works International’s new fare includes comedy horror 100 Bloody Acres, currently in pre-production. Writer/directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes won the Slamdance 2010 screenwriting competition with this project.


INTERNATIONAL SELLERS

K5 has a trio of hot new films — Paul Walker starring thriller Vehicle 19; and two new Dean Zanuck productions: Ezna Sands’ prison break story Liberty Lane and Eric Howell’s Italy set thriller Voice From The Stone.

While Fortissimo has already been talking to buyers at past markets about Kevin Macdonald’s Bob Marley documentary, the director will be in Cannes on May 11 to show buyers footage of Marley — and honour the 30th anniversary of Marley’s death.

Beta’s new titles include Tim Fehlbaum’s debut feature Hell (executive produced by Roland Emmerich), a dystopian thriller set in the near future. Paramount will release in Germany in September.

Lasse Hallstrom is directing his first Swedish feature film in 35 years, thriller The Hypnotist (an adaptation of Lars Kepler’s bestseller) which Svensk will be pre-selling in the market.

Italian sales outfit Adriana Chiesa Enterprises will be presenting The Last Fashion Show,a thriller set in the fashion world, produced and distributed by Medusa and co-starring Richard E. Grant.

eOne Films International has drama The Hunter, directed by Daniel Nettheim, producer by Vincent Sheehan and Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom), and Paul Wiegard, and starring Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor. This is the story of a ruthless mercenary sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct.

One film bound to provoke controversy is Eva Ionesco’s My Little Princess, sold by Urban Distribution International (formerly UMedia). Starring Isabelle Huppert, this is the autobiographical story of the director’s childhood with her eccentric mother, photographer Irina Ionesco [who controversially photographed her daugther in the nude].

German outfit Bavaria Films International reports strong buyer and festival interest on Dreileben, the German crime trilogy by Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhäusler which receives its market premiere in Cannes following its Forum screenings in Berlin.

Meanwhile, TrustNordisk is courting buyers for Nicolaj Arcel’s epic love story A Royal Affair, starring Mads Mikkelsen. The €6 million, currently shooting in Prague, is set for domestic release in March 2012. Also being pre-sold by Trustnordisk is Peter Naess’s antiwar movie Comrade, starring Rupert Grint, and Henning Carlsen’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez adaptation, Memories Of My Melancholy Whores. The Scandinavian outfit is also aiming to capitalize on distributors’ obsession with Nordic crime fiction and will be pushing its Camilla Läckberg adaptation The Fjållbacka Murders. (This comprises both a TV series and two features.)

Also from Scandinavia, NonStop will be pre-selling Magic Silver 2 - The quest of the Mystic Horn, the sequel to 2009 hot-seller Magic Silver. This is the first ever Norwegian 3D feature.

From French sellers, the hot English-language titles are Pathe’s Phyllida Lloyd biopic of Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep; Gaumont International’s Pusher remake starring Agyness Deyn; the Said Ben Saïd-handled and produced Carnage from Roman Polanski and the latest from Brian De Palma as well as Memento’s reteaming with Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet for his English-language debut, the adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ Foxfire. Also on the non-French language side is Marius Holst’s King Of Devil’s Island from Les Films du Losange which Film Movement just acquired for the US. Wild Bunch has Ken Loach’s new Scotland-set The Angels’ Share. Coach 14 is touting its two Sundance pickups, On The Iceand Terri.

Hot French language-fare is likely to include Wild Bunch’s Asterix And Obelix: God Save Britannia from director Laurent Tirard as well as Christophe Barratier’s War Of The Buttons. Other Angle’s The Lords, a social comedy from La Vie En Rose director Olivier Dahan stars a who’s who of French talent. Rezo Films is reteaming with Stéphane Brizé on Quelques Heures De Printemps which is currently shooting. Rezo will show a promo reel from the film by the director of Mademoiselle Chambon and Not Here To Be Loved.

SND is set to announce an “original and feel-good” French film with strong international potential.

French outfit Films Distribution has the new Rithy Panh feature doc Duch, Master Of The Forges Of Hell, plus surveillance thriller Paris Under Watch by Cédric Jimenez and Arnaud Duprey.

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