From auteur fare by big-name directors such as Polanski and Besson, to directorial debuts and genre titles, Geoffrey Macnab previews the new projects available for sale for the first time in Berlin’s market
Buyers have already been clamouring over Roman Polanski’s Carnage: in the run-up to Berlin some distributors, among them Benelux’s Cineart, had pre-bought the film, starring Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, directly from French producer Said Ben Said of SBS. The film, based on Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed play, started shooting at the end of January. The story is about two sets of parents whose respective children have been involved in an altercation. They meet to discuss the matter but end up fighting among themselves.
France’s EuropaCorp is launching sales of Luc Besson’s latest opus, The Lady [pictured], in which Michelle Yeoh plays Burmese freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis her husband Michael Aris.
Michael Haneke’s latest drama Love (Amour), which follows a couple in their eighties battling to keep their love alive in the face of increasing ill-health, is already shooting with a cast including Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert. Les Films Du Losange is selling.
London-based Protagonist Pictures will begin pre-sales on Arthur Miller adaptation A View From The Bridge, with Mia Wasikowska, Vera Farmiga and Anthony LaPaglia attached to star. Sam Neill and newcomer Sebastian Stan are also on board. A View From The Bridge will be directed by Robert Connolly from a screenplay by Andrew Bovell.
One title likely to provoke buyer interest is Troy Nixey’s horror picture Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro and starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. The film, originally backed by Miramax prior to its sale by Disney, is now being sold by Pathé. All territories are available excluding North America.
StudioCanal will screen Joe Cornish’s comedy Attack The Block, about a teen gang from south London fighting off aliens, and Berlinale competitor, 3D animated feature Tales Of The Night by Michel Ocelot.
The French powerhouse will also be showing first footage of Special Forces, about a French journalist in Afghanistan who is kidnapped by the Taliban, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which stars Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.
TrustNordisk is giving a Berlin market premiere to Norwegian film Happy Happy, fresh from its world drama grand jury prize win in Sundance. The comedy, directed by Anne Sewitsky, is about Kaja, an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting and who refuses to have sex with her.
TrustNordisk will also be presenting 3D animated feature Olsen Gang Gets Polished by director Jorgen Lerdam. The film revives the Olsen gang, a fictional criminal set whose stories have been told in several live-action movies.
During the EFM, Goldcrest Films International will begin worldwide sales on Dana Lustig’s UK psychological thriller A Thousand Kisses Deep, starring Dougray Scott, Jodie Whittaker, Emilia Fox and David Warner. The film is about a young woman who witnesses a suicide that she is strangely connected to, and she travels and forth in time looking at her own life and troubled relationship with a former lover.
Fresh from Sundance
Ealing Studios International is bringing Liz Garbus’ Bobby Fischer Against The World, a documentary feature about the troubled US chess genius, to the EFM. Berlin will be the film’s first market following its Sundance screening. It has already been acquired by Dogwoof for remaining UK rights, Mongrel for Canada and Madman for Australia and New Zealand.
Also from Sundance is Braden King’s HERE from K5 Media Group, which stars Ben Foster as a US satellite-mapping engineer in Armenia who falls in love with an ex-pat Armenian photographer.
Gaumont will be beginning sales in earnest on Xavier Durringer’s The Conquest, its potentially controversial project about French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to power. The film, which should be ready for Cannes, is being billed in the vein of The Queen and In The Loop. The French major will also be showing a promo reel of thriller A Gang Story.
UK sales agent Moviehouse is handling Bulla, a comic mockumentary which follows a psychotic gangster released from prison.
Simon Crowe’s SC Films International will be having two premiere market screenings: Retreat, a thriller starring Thandie Newton, Cillian Murphy and Jamie Bell, and Foster, a UK drama starring Toni Collette, Ioan Gruffudd and Richard E Grant.
Spanish seller Latido’s market premieres include coming-of-age drama Blog, by Elena Trape, and Joao Nuno Pinto’s America.
London-based AV will begin sales on Sket, Nirpal Bhogal’s girl-gang thriller made through Revolver’s production arm Gunslinger.
Underlining its continued enthusiasm for Dutch fare, High Point Films, the theatrical sales arm of Carey Fitzgerald’s High Point Media Group, has picked up world rights to Hanro Smitsman’s Dusk. The film is produced by Amsterdam-based Corrino Media Group, and follows a group of teenagers who plot a cold-blooded murder.