The international sales market had grounds for optimism after last year’s European Film Market, and a host of hot new projects are heading to the EFM in 2011. Jeremy Kay explores US sellers’ offerings

IM Global enters the market with Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to her multi-Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. The unrelated story, again based on a screenplay by Mark Boal, is a Middle East-set thriller but beyond that little is known. Several financiers were circling the project heading into Berlin.

Lionsgate will formally introduce Ghost House Pictures’ supernatural drama Dibbuk Box to buyers. Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as a divorced man whose daughter buys a cursed antique box which wreaks havoc. Denmark’s Ole Bornedal is directing, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert producing. Lionsgate has recruited another international talent — Korea’s Kim Jee-won (I Saw The Devil) — to direct Last Stand, an action film about a fugitive who escapes in a Gumpert Apollo sports car.

Glen Basner’s FilmNation will be talking up gangster story The Wettest County In The World, the latest partnership between John Hillcoat and writer Nick Cave following The Proposition. Shooting on the film, which stars Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, is scheduled to begin on February 28 in Georgia; the project is based on Matt Bondurant’s tale of Gold Rush-era boot­leggers.

Voltage Pictures chief Nicolas Chartier is bringing Puncture to the EFM. In post, the film is directed by Emmy nominees Adam and Mark Kassen. Chris Evans stars in the tale of a rebel lawyer who takes on a health-supply corporation while battling his own personal demons.

Ed Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group continues to remodel itself as a company with a strong focus on genre, and will screen a promo for House Of The Rising Sun starring Dave Batista, Amy Smart, Dominic Purcell, Craig Fairbrass and Danny Trejo. The story follows a crooked cop released from jail who is framed for the death of a mob boss’s son. Principal photography wrapped on December 23. Lionsgate/Grindhouse holds US rights and Momentum will distribute the film in the UK.

Bleiberg Entertainment will be showing footage from Episode 50, in post-production and based on a screenplay by Dracula: The Un-Dead author Ian Holt. The story centres on two rival TV crews of paranormal experts who establish contact with a formidable power. Ehud Bleiberg is producing with Holt.

Morris Ruskin’s Shoreline Entertainment arrives with the Argentinian title Tunnel Of Bones (El Tunel De Los Huesos). The true-life story follows seven Buenos Aires prisoners who dig a tunnel from the prison hospital and make a macabre discovery. Ignacio Garassino directs.

Battle of the sexes

Maya Entertainment brings Gabriela Tagliavini’s comedy Without Men starring Eva Longoria. Christian Slater also stars in the story, about a remote Latin American ­community of women who establish an all-female utopia and engage in a battle of the sexes when their menfolk return from war. Maya plans a summer US theatrical release.

Arclight Films will commence sales on the Elmore Leonard comedy caper Freaky Deaky which Sienna Miller will star in and produce. Filming is scheduled to begin this summer in Michigan. WME represents North American rights. Arclight’s slate includes The Boom Boom Room starring Shirley MacLaine, Chris Wallace and Ashley Greene. CAA represents North American rights to the film, which tells the story of a girl who discovers her grandparents’ professional past as burlesque entertainers. It is in pre-production.

Media 8 Entertainment will be talking up Orlando Bloom as the British poet and novelist Robert Graves in The Laureate, which is styled as a sexy drama from William Nunez. Imogen Poots stars in the love triangle as passionate young American writer Laura Riding and Kerry Condon rounds out the threesome as Graves’ wife Nancy. Production is set to begin in the UK and Ireland this summer.

Ariel Veneziano’s Recreation will show a teaser trailer to the action-adventure Jason And The Necronauts. Kevin Van Hook will direct and Casper Van Dien will star in the story, which lends a new twist to Greek mythology as the classic hero recruits an undead army.

Recreation is also teaming up with The Film Collaborative to sell Panorama selection We Were Here, David Weissman’s documentary about the impact of Aids on San Francisco; the film premiered at Sundance.

Visit Films will be talking up their Sundance acquisition Jess + Moss [pictured], a dreamy meditation on childhood. The story unravels as the titular second cousins spend summer days at the family farm in West Kentucky playing, talking and discovering.

Epic Pictures is teaming up with Saw 2, 3 and 4 director Darren Lynn Bousman on the apocalyptic thriller 11.11.11. Shooting is under way on the story about an entity from another dimension predicted to arrive on Earth through heaven’s 11th gate on November 11, 2011.