Alex Walton arrived on the Croisette with a new company backed by Garmin heir Ken Kao and arguably the prestige title of the market – and the buyers have responded.
Walton struck a deal for the Matthew McConaughey starrer with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions for Latin America, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and licensed the UK, Australia and New Zealand to eOne.
Rights went for France (SND), CIS and the Baltic States (West), Italy (Lucky Red), Japan (Parco), South Korea (Sookie), Benelux (Belga), Israel (United King), South Africa (Times Media South Africa), Iceland (Sam) and Greece (Odeon).
Deals also closed in Portugal (Leopardo), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Turkey (Chantier) and airlines (Jaguar). Apsara picked up Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and South-east Asian TV. CAA and WME Global handle US sales.
Gus Van Sant is scheduled to start directing in July the story of a widower who goes through a life-changing encounter in an isolated forest at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan known as the most beautiful place to die.
Chris Sparling wrote the screenplay and Kao produces alongside Gil Netter, who has been instrumental in getting the project off the ground. Director and actor attended Cannes for a packed-out buyers presentation.
“Sea Of Trees was the ideal project to introduce and launch Bloom in Cannes,” said Walton. “Having both Gus and Matthew on-hand to share their vision and passion for the film was key and their enthusiasm resonated with our buyers.”
Bloom’s slate includes upcoming action title The Hunters and a slate inherited from Exclusive Media that includes A Walk Among The Tombstones, Skiptrace, Begin Again, Dark Places, Pele and Jane Got A Gun.