New films by Brian de Palma and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are among seven new acquisitions made by Zurich-based Ascot Elite Entertainment Group at lastmonth’s European Film Market (EFM), while Cologne’s Splendid Film has picked up nine titles for exploitation in German-speaking Europe and the Benelux.

Ascot Elite acquired the theatrical and home entertainment rights for German-speaking Europe to Brian de Palma’s feature film Passion, a remake of the French thriller Crime d’Amour, from producer SBS Productions. The co-production with Germany’s Integral Film, which received €400,000 funding from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg last month, has a cast including Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace and Karoline Herfurth. Shooting begins in Berlin next week on March 5 with an eye to a premiere at the 2013 Berlinale.

In addition, the same rights were secured from ZDF Enterprises from Kathrine Winfield’s Agent Hamilton – In The Interest Of The Nation [pictured], starring Mikael Persbrandt, Jason Flemyng and Pernilla August, which is one of the highest grossing local films in Scandinavia. The thriller is the first film of a trilogy to be adapted from the bestselling novels by Jan Guillou.

At the same time, Ascot Elite acquired all German rights for the following five titles:

  • John S. Baird’s provocative black comedy Filth, which is based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name and stars James McAvoy, Jamie Bell and Jim Broadbent. The co-production with Germany’s Egoli Tossell Film began shooting in the UK in January and is being sold internationally by Sierra/Affinity.
  • William Brent Bell’s gripping creature thriller Wer, which will be produced by the team behind the Paranormal Activity franchise and the international success Insidious, from Sierra/Affinity.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s romantic comedy Don Jon’s Addiction, starring the director himself and Scarlett Johansson, from Voltage Pictures.
  • Pat Holden’s exorcism thriller When The Lights Went Out, based on a true story set in Yorkshire, starring Steve Waddington, Kate Ashfield and Tasha Connor, from SC Films.
  • and this year’s Sundance Midnight Screenings hit The Pact, with Caity Lotz, Caspar van Dien and Agnes Bruckner, from Content.

Meanwhile, Splendid Film’s raft of new titles for exploitation in German-speaking Europe and the Benelux are:

  • Joe Lynch’s Everly with Kate Hudson in her first film in an action role
  • the scifi shocker The Colony with Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton
  • the pacy crime thriller Empire State starring Liam Hemsworth and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • David Hackl’s survival thriller Red Machine, with Thomas Jane, James Marsden, Piper Perabo and Billy Bob Thornton
  • the 3D animation family entertainment Zambezia
  • the zombie comedy Osombie with Osama bin Laden making a comeback as a zombie
  • the Twilight saga spoof Breaking Wind
  • Korean directors Kim je-Woon and Yim Pil-sung’s sci-fi thriller Doomsday Book
  • and Dante Lam’s action film Viral Factor, starring Nicholas Tse and Jay Chou.