News in brief from the European Film Market.
Ostlund short wins Golden Bear, Miedinski takes Silver
Swedish film-maker Ruben Ostlund has won the Golden Bear for best short film for Handlese Vid Bank, about a failed bank robbery, while Israeli director Shai Miedzinski took the jury prize Silver Bear for Hayerida, about a family seeking a headstone for their son’s grave.
Artificial Eye spies Charlotte Rampling-starrer I, Anna
UK distributor Artificial Eye has boarded Barnaby Southcombe’s debut feature I, Anna. The $4m film, presented at the Co-Production Market earlier this week, will star Charlotte Rampling, who is Southcombe’s mother. The noir thriller is the first title from London-based production and financing outfit Embargo Films, headed by Southcombe and producer Felix Vossen. Ilann Girard’s Arsam is co-producing.
Pinewood, Studio Hamburg support German film-makers
Pinewood Studios and Studio Hamburg has launched a joint venture to encourage more international film productions in Germany. Pinewood Studios Services will offer film-makers access to Studio Hamburg’s productions and services in Berlin and Hamburg, as well as to Pinewood’s extensive experience.
FiGa to blow Anna Muylaert’s Smoke worldwide
FiGa Films has acquired worldwide sales rights, excluding Brazil, to Anna Muylaert’s Brazilian black comedy about life in a Sao Paulo apartment building, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (E Proibido Fumar). The Los Angeles-based distributor of Latin American fare has reported strong interest at the EFM from French, German and Russian buyers. The Africa Filmes and Dezenove Som E Imagens movie was produced by Sara Silveira, Maria Ionescu and Muylaert.
Berlinale’s Talent Press decamps to Guadalajara
The Berlinale Talent Campus will be staging its Talent Press training programme for young journalists for the first time at the second edition of the Guadalajara Talent Campus (March 11-15, 2010).
Scud’s Amphetamine whizzes over to HK festival
Amphetamine, the film by Hong Kong film-maker Scud, has been selected as the closing night film for the forthcoming Hong Kong International Film Festival, which will run March 21-April 6.
Lonely seals Nydenion deal
Los Angeles-based Lonely Seal Releasing has secured worldwide rights for Jack Moik’s independently produced German sci-fi epic Nydenion. Backed by Hessen-Invest Film, the $4m title boasts nearly 100 3D virtual backgrounds, 50 original miniatures and more than 500 VFX shots.
cine plus Filmproduktion options Zahno’s debut novel
German outfit cine plus Filmproduktion has optioned the film rights to Swiss author Daniel Zahno’s bestselling debut novel Die Geliebte Des Gelatiere for an international co-production. The deal was signed at the European Film Market this week.
Wide still riding sales wave with Godard-Truffaut rivalry doc
Wide Management has sold documentary Two In The Wave, the feature doc about the friendship and rivalry between French New Wave directors Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, to the US (Lorber Films) and Japan (Cetera), and All That I Love to Switzerland (Cineworx).
Jinga salvages deals with France, Thailand on Gough horror
Jinga Films has closed sales on Lawrence Gough’s horror Salvage for France (Opening) and Thailand (Sahamongkol Film, which has also acquired John Michael Elfers’ Finale, Johnny Kevorkian’s The Disappeared and Dominic Lees’ Outlanders). Jinga has also sold Jac Schaeffer’s comedy Timer to Israel (Shapira) and Middle East (Italia). Italia also picked up Federico Zampaglione’s Shadow.
Twistville seeks Americans for German co-productions
German-American Philipp Barnett, who previously worked in production and development for Bavaria Film and Sony Pictures, has joined forces with screenwriter Matthew Martinez (Fierce Friend) to launch the Berlin-based film and TV production company Twistville, which aims to help US producers access German film funding.
Scud’s Amphetamine seals deal with buyers
Media Luna has sold Amphetamine, by Hong Kong film-maker Scud, to Greece (Clip Arte). The film is screening in the Panorama section.
Berlinale sets up ‘creative advice’ panel
Palestinian actress-film-maker Hiam Abbass, German film-maker Dorothee Wenner and author Peter Cowie are among the members of an initiative launched by the Berlinale. The new board for creative sustainability has been created to advise and assist the festival on current film policy and its future development. It will also consult on areas such as the selection of jury members and honorary-award winners.
MIFF unveils inaugural business programme
The Moscow International Film Festival is launching its first Business Square event this year, which will run from June 22-26. The programme will include the Moscow Co-Production Forum, a three-day masterclass withAudiovisual Entrepreneurs and a film-financing forum dedicated to greater co-operation between the European film industry and counterparts in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Coach 14 drives Popescu double
Coach 14 is handling two films from new Romanian director Constantin Popescu. His debut feature Portrait Of Fighter As A Young Man, about Romanian resistance to communist rule, is playing in the Forum in Berlin. He is also working on comedy Principles Of Life with Police, Adjective star Vlad Ivanov. HiFilm Productions is producing with Scharf & Tandem.
UTV sells Germany on Peepli
Rapid Eye has picked up all German rights from UTV Motion Pictures to Anusha Rizvi’s debut feature Peepli Liveahead of its screening in the Berlinale Special section later this week. The distributor is planning to release the film in the third quarter of this year. The Indian comedy is an Aamir Khan Production with UTV Motion Pictures.
Secret In Their Eyes goes to Camino for Germany, Switzerland
New German distributor Camino Filmverleih has bought all rights for Germany and Switzerland to the Oscar-nominated The Secret In Their Eyes from Spanish sales agent Latido. The company will also make its producing debut through parent company Niama Films on The Black Lords, from directing duo Torsten Truscheit and Ana Rocha Fernandes. The cinema co-production with broadcaster SWR is set to shoot in early 2011 on the Cape Verde Islands.
Rudolph Herzog’s Chile thriller warms up with Minichmayr signing
Austrian actress Birgit Minichmayr is attached to appear in the Chile-set thriller Phoenix Aus Der Asche (working title) directed by Rudolph Herzog, the son of Berlinale jury president Werner. The co-production by Monarda with the UK’s F&ME is being developed with Studio Halle and sales agent Aktis Film International.
Visual Factory picks up French rights for Hungaricom duo
Visual Factory has picked up French rights to two Hungarian films from Hungaricom, Children Of Glory and Made In Hungaria. The latter, by Gergely Fonyo, is a musical set in the 1950s, while Children Of Glory, directed by Krisztina Goda and produced by Andrew G Vajna, is an epic story of the 1856 revolution in Hungary.
Bruno Ganz and Iris Berben elected heads of German Film Academy
Actors Bruno Ganz (Wings Of Desire, Downfall) and Iris Berben (Buddenbrooks) have been elected presidents of the German Film Academy, replacing Senta Berger and producer Günter Rohrbach.
Hopkins, Schwietert to pitch project in Share Your Slate
New projects by Duane Hopkins, Stefan Schwietert and Liam Gavin are among 50 being pitched to potential partners at this year’s Share Your Slate. The pitch has been organised by MEDIA Desk Germany at the European Film Market.
Films Du Losange punts Philibert’s orangutan movie
Nicolas Philibert’s Nénette, a documentary about a 40-year-old orangutan in Paris, has been sold by Films Du Losange to Switzerland (Agora) and French-speaking Canada (K Film).
Chainey movie scoops Berlin Today Award
Australian film-maker Bryn Chainey’s Jonah And The Vicarious Nature Of Homesickness has won the Berlin Today Award 2010, the short-film competition of the Berlinale Talent Campus. Chainey was presented with the award at an event on Sunday evening by Kirsten Niehuus, managing director of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. It was selected by a jury made up of Heike Makatsch, Stephen Daldry and Peter Rommel. The film, starring Jens Winter, is a romantic science-fiction story about a boy who leaves his home in a homemade spaceship.
MPI Media acquires The Last Lovecraft for North America
MPI Media Group has acquired all North American rights and Cinemavault has boarded international sales on Henry Saine’s The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu. It is planning an autumn release through its Dark Sky Films label followed by DVD and video-on-demand in October.
Ewan McGregor, Lars Von Trier out in force for TrustNordisk
TrustNordisk pulls out the stops as A-list endorses promos TrustNordisk had some heavyweight talent drumming up interest in its projects in the market yesterday. Both Lars von Trier and Ewan McGregor showed up at promo screenings of upcoming TrustNordisk titles. McGregor introduced the promo of David Mackenzie’s The Last Word (working title) in which he stars alongside Eva Green; while Trier talked to buyers about his apocalyptic new film, Melancholia. The sales company has now closed deals on Melancholia for Benelux (Wild Bunch Beneluxand the former Yugoslavia (MCF MegaCom).
Film Sharks close two-picture with Olive Films
Guido Rud’s Film Sharks International has closed a two-picture deal with Olive Films for Finland’s Oscar submission Letters To Father Jacob and Argentinian film A Boyfriend For My Wife, which will be remade in the US by Warner Bros. Meanwhile Rud has picked up international rights to Jean-Claude Janer’s French fantasy Sister Welsh’s Nights, which is screening here in Generation 14Plus.
London UK Film Focus to expand horizons for 2010
The London UK Film Focus, the annual showcase of new UK projects, will expand this year to include films represented by foreign sales agents and non-UK films from UK sales agents. The four-day event will run from June 28-July 1 at the BFI Southbank in London.
M-Appeal picks up Todorovic’s ‘coming out’ tale Sasha
Berlin-based M-Appeal has taken on international sales for Dennis Todorovic’s feature debut Sasha, the story of a gay man coming out to his homophobic immigrant family. The Eastart Pictures production stars Sasa Kekez and Tim Bergmann.
Underground pioneer Hein wins Manfred Salzgeber prize
Avant-garde film-maker Wilhelm Hein, the punk pioneer of the German underground, won the Manfred Salzgeber prize on Saturday evening. The award is given to film-makers who broaden the boundaries of cinema.
Bavaria Film wraps deals for Baier’s Henry Of Navarre
Bavaria Film International has concluded all-rights deals for Jo Baier’s Henry Of Navarre (Henri IV) with CIS and Baltic states (Film Depot), Romania (ProRom) and Colombia (Cine Colombia). The film, starring Julien Boisselier, premiered in the Berlinale Special Gala last night. It has also reported strong interest from Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland, as well as from Scandinavia and Benelux.
Easternlight cuts deals on 14 Blades
Easternlight Films has sold Daniel Lee’s Chinese revenge tale 14 Blades for UK and Australia (Icon), Japan (Sony), Germany (Koch Media), France (Metropolitan), Turkey (Aqua Pinema), the Middle East (Ballistic Films), South Korea (Noori Pictures), Hong Kong (Golden Harvest), Taiwan (Long Shong), Thailand (Mediafilms), India and the Philippines (Soundspace) and Indonesia (PT Amero). 14 Blades has raced to more than $8.7m in its first four days of release in China.
Nordisk unveils investment in local films outside region
The Nordisk Film & TV Fund is to invest up to $340,000 (€250,000) in supporting the release of Nordic films outside the region. It follows the pilot launch of High Five Toronto at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, which saw 13 films selected for grants of up to $27,000 (€20,000). The money is available to distributors worldwide. The support comes from $1.3m (€940,000) given to the fund by the Nordic Council of Ministers for global initiatives over the next three years.
Orange, SND sign deal on television premieres
Telecoms operator Orange has announced an exclusive agreement with SND to premiere the distributor’s films on its Orange cinema series TV channels in France. It will include Kathryn Bigelow’s multi-Oscar-nominated The Hurt Locker and The Twilight Saga: New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz, in 2010.
Disgraced journalist to hit the big screen
The story of disgraced Swiss journalist Tom Kummer is being brought to the big screen in a documentary called Bad Boy Kummer. It will be directed by film critic and journalist Miklos Gimes. Kummer, a former journalist who is now a tennis coach, made his name writing a series of high-profile interviews with celebrities including Sharon Stone for the Swiss and German press. However, it emerged he had made it all up. The film is in post-production for Zurich-based production and sales outfit T&C Film AG.
Carnahan joins Cooper on survival movie The Grey
Joe Carnahan will direct survival thriller The Grey, which is set to star Bradley Cooper as one of a crew of oil-rig workers being pursued by wolves after their plane crashes in Alaska. Carnahan, who recently completed filming The A-Team with Cooper, adapted the film with Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, who wrote the short story on which it is based. Creative Artists Agency is representing domestic rights, while Inferno is financing and handling international sales.
Karsten Laske collects screenplay award for My Brother
Berlin-based writer-director Karsten Laske has won the German Screenplay Award 2010 for Mein Bruder, Hitlerjunge Quex (My Brother, Hitler Youth Quex). He received the award at a reception on Friday evening from German minister of culture Bernd Neumann.
Telepool’s When We Leave sets sail for Turkey
Telepool has sealed its first deal for Feo Aladag’s feature debut When We Leave (Die Fremde), starring Sibel Kekilli, to Mehmet Soyarslan’s Ozen Film for Turkey. The Panorama Special title is being released theatrically in Germany by Majestic Filmverleih in March.
Madmen take Exit to Oz
Cinetic International chief Shebnem Askin has sold the Banksy documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop to Madman in Australia.The Australian distributor is understood to be planning a June release on the film, which receives its international premiere on Sunday following the recent sell-out world premiere at Sundance. The announcement follows an earlier deal with Jean Labadie’s Paris-based Le Pacte in France and as previously reported, Revolver will release in the UK on March 5.
Olive picks up The Girl
Canadian sales outfit Delphis Films has sold Swedish title The Girl to Olive Films for North America. It is planning a summer theatrical release for Fredrik Edfeldt’s film. Delphis is also handling The Storm by Oscar-nominated director Ben Sombogaart; Berlin Generation competition film Eep! and Canadian title Father And Guns by Emile Gaudreault.
Miramax excutive joins Locomotive
Former Miramax executive Colleen Sedlin has resurfaced as head of Locomotive Distribution. Its EFM slate includes Jewish generational drama Tickling Leo starring Eli Wallach; To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey, about Hollywood Asian actress Nancy Kwan, and family title Snowmen with Ray Liotta and Bobby Coleman. Seldin is also talking to buyers about the documentary As We Forgive, and family title The Toy Shoppe from parent company Locomotive Group, based on Kenny Rogers’ 35-city touring play and hit musical.
Ziegler launches dedicated cinema label
Ziegler Film, the producer of Jo Baier’s Berlinale Special title Henri 4, has launched a dedicated cinema label to concentrate its activities in film production Regina and Tanja Zeigler, the company’s joint chiefs, have appointed former Telepool head of license transactions, Yoko Higuchi Zitzmann as managing director of Zeigler Cinema. It has a slate of five projects in various stages of development and it is seeking international co-production partners.
Nicole Armbruster’s Fortress screenplay scoops Strittmatter prize
Nicole Armbruster picked up the $36,164 (€25,000) Thomas Strittmatter Prize for her screenplay Festung (Fortress). She was awarded by the prize on Friday evening by MFG Baden-Württemberg. The family drama is set to be produced this summer by Stuttgart-based Kordes & Kordes Film, with Kirsi Liimatainen as director.
Filmgalerie brings in von Stackelberg
German production and DVD label Filmgalerie 451 is expanding its recent entry into theatrical distribution after appointing Verena von Stackelberg, who previously worked for the UK’s independent cinema and distribution company Curzon Artificial Eye. She will oversee world sales for Filmgalerie’s own productions. The Berlin-based company is planning release 4-5 hand-picked arthouse titles annually, beginning this spring with the Cannes Europa Cinemas Label winner La Pivellina. The film by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel is also screening at the Berlinale in the Generation Kplus section.
Content Extract’s UK deal on Mike Judge comedy
London and LA-based ContentFilm has snagged a UK deal with Paramount for new Mike Judge comedy, Extract. It stars Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck and Clifton Collins Jr. The drama, about a factory worker whose life is changed by an accident, is being produced by John Altschuler and Michael Rotenberg with Tom Lassally,, Dave Krinksy and Glenn Lucas executive producing. Paramount plan to release the film on March 26 in the UK and Ireland.
Sylvie Testud attached to untitled Freiderike Jehns title
French actress Sylvie Testud (Lourdes) is attached to German director Friederike Jehn’s second feature Klang Der Stille (working title), the debut production for Berlin-based Polarlicht Filmproduktion. Producers Ingo Schuenemann and Pari Garvanos have received support from broadcaster SWR and Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film for the $1.6m (€1.2m) family drama but are in berlin seeking potential co-production partners from from Switzerland and France in order to start shooting in late summer.
Orange suppors 12th Deauville Asian Film Festival
Telecom operator Orange has announced it will sponsor the 12th Deauville Asian Film Festival, which runs March 10 -14. The deal will include a special season of films from Takashi Miike and Kim Ki-Duk on the Orange cinema series channels.