It's slim pickings for North American buyers at this year's AFM, with only a handful of titles creating any sort of buzz. But at least one film looks likely to sell - USA Films is understood to have put in an offer on BBC Films/Pandora Cinema's Maybe Baby - and another, Keanu Reeves-starrer Driven has whipped up the market's only bidding war.
The promo reel for Driven, an action thriller in which the white-hot Reeves plays a serial killer opposite James Spader and Marisa Tomei, had leading domestic distributors chomping at the bit. Among those thought to have been encircling the film, even before the AFM began, were Miramax, Destination and Warner Bros.
Interlight Pictures, which is selling the film, could not confirm which had the edge over the weekend, although a $14.5m deal for North American, Latin America, Portugal and Australia was said to have been tabled by Friday.
Meanwhile other buzz titles - which had promo reels on show - were 2 Match's The Whole Shebang with Stanley Tucci and Bridget Fonda, Behaviour Worldwide's The Body starring Antonio Banderas and Olivia Williams.
Films screened here that have piqued interest include Kevin & Perry Go Large from Icon Entertainment International - a tongue-in-cheek British comedy spun off from a local TV sketch - with Paramount Pictures hovering around the film in association with its corporate sibling MTV.
Among the foreign-language titles, The CoProduction Office report five firm offers for hot Berlin Film Festival title Suzhou and expect to receive other US buyers before the end of the market.
Also grabbing attention have been FilmFour International's Gangster Number 1 which had already been bought for many territories by Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group and CineTel Films' A Rumour Of Angels with Catherine McCormack and Vanessa Redgrave
Meanwhile many sellers have are holding back the first screenings of the key English-language pictures going to Cannes, hoping that the festival atmosphere and the heavy media contingent will stoke up prices the way they also do at events such as Sundance (and occasionally Berlin). Buyers are already bracing for one of the most hectic screening schedules seen in recent years on the Croisette.
Among the high profile films near completion without domestic distribution in place are Vatel (Gaumont), The Weight Of Water (Le Studio Canal Plus), Memento (Summit Entertainment), Road To Glory (Seven Arts International), Harrison's Flowers (Le Studio Canal Plus), The Contender (TF1 International), The House Of Mirth (Capitol Films), Dr T And The Women (Initial Entertainment Group), Shiner (IAC Film & Television) and Gaudi Afternoon (Lolafilms SA).