Ascot Elite Entertainment and Senator Film both had busy markets in Cannes with more than half a dozen new titles apiece in their luggage.
Zurich-based Ascot Elite Entertainment Group announced its acquisitions of all German rights for seven titles, including the previously announced pickup of the Werner Herzog-narrated documentary Dinostasia.
- Peter Webber’s [pictured] epic war drama Emperor , starring Matthew Fox and Tommy Lee Jones and currently in postproduction, from Sierra/Affinity;
- Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s drama Mission: Blacklist – from Embankment Films – which stars Robert Pattinson in a true story about a US army staff sergeant who was instrumental in capturing the former dictator Saddam Hussein;
- Steven Shainberg’s next feature The Big Shoe about the lives and loves of a declared shoe and foot fetishist, to star Jim Sturgess, Mia Wasikowska, Amy Adams and Susan Sarandon – from HanWay Films;
- Gabriele Salvatores’ Siberian Education, based on the novel by Nicolai Lilin and starring John Malkovich, Peter Stormare and Eleanor Tomlinson, from WestEnd Films. The film had been shooting until the beginning of this year in Lithuania’s Vilnius and will premiere at either Venice or Toronto this year;
- Patxi Amezcua’s thriller The 7th Floor about a Buenos Aires lawyer (played by Ricardo Darin) pursuing the kidnappers of his two young children, set to shoot this autumn – from Film Factory;
- Ben Not’s action-packed surfer film Drift with a cast headlined by Sam Worthington and Xavier Samuel – from TF1 International.
Forthcoming releases for Ascot Elite’s German theatrical arm Ascot Elite Filmverleih in the second half of 2012 include Ken Scott’s Starbuck, Geoffrey Enthoven’s Hasta La Vista, Paul Andrew Williams’ A Song For Marion. Brian de Palma’s latest film Passion and Jon S. Baird’s Irvine Welsh adaptation Filth are lined up for release in early 2013.
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Meanwhile, Berlin-based Senator Film was busy trawling the Marché for attractive titles in addition to making announcements about new production ventures such as the co-production of screen adaptations of John Le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man, Martin Suter’s The Cook and Nicholas Sparks’ The Rescue.
After the distribution arm’s overwhelming success this year with the French tragicomedy Intouchables, which has been by over 8.2m German cinema-goers and taken over €58m at the box-office, Senator’s buying spree focused on promising new French titles, including two with Intouchables star Omar Sy - the action comedy De L’Autre Cote Du Periph and the comedy F.B.I. - as well as James Huth’s romantic comedy Happiness Never Comes Alone, which will be released in France on June 27 and in Germany in September.
Senator’s appetite for French comedies is currently being sated after the success of Intouchables by Daniel Cohen’s Comme un chef, to be released next week on June 7, and Julie Delpy’s 2 Days In New York, opening on July 5.
In addition, Senator also acquired the German language rights for Atom Egoyan’s thriller Devil’s Knot, starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon, and Daniel Benmayor’s Taylor Lautner-starrer Tracers as well as Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires which had screened in Cannes’ Official Selection this year.
Other German companies on the lookout for new product included Falcom who secured the German rights to the UK nature documentary The Penguin King 3D by Anthony Geffen and Sias Wilson from Kaleidoscope Film Distribution and Marlon Wayans’ Untitled Found Footage Comedy as a parody of the Paranormal Activity franchise, from IM Global.