Testifying to the ability of stand-out market titles to find international pre-buys despite the financial woes of European buyers, FilmFour International has closed a raft of deals on its hot Che Guevara picture The Motorcycle Diaries.
The story of the revolutionary's travels as a young man, for which Walter Salles is to direct rising Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal, pre-sold to Nippon Herald for Japan in a significant deal for the financing of the Spanish-language film.
FilmFour sales chief Janine Gold closed a deal with BIM for Italy and could close France by the end of the market. Gold also has the luxury of a longterm deal for Germany with Senator.
"To get these pre-sales on a foreign-language film is pretty exceptional," she said.
But echoing most sellers, Gold said Spain was the biggest problem. The lack of a Spanish deal so far on Motorcycle is all the more telling given the film's language, subject matter and talent. Like many sellers with keenly-anticipated productions, Gold was anticipating waiting out the pay-TV storm in Spain and possibly France and selling the film a few months later.
"Some Spanish executives are leaving today without buying a thing," she said. "Others left two or three or four days ago without anything."
By contrast, Motorcycle was snapped up in Portugal by Lusomundo. BIM was active in Italy, also buying FilmFour's The Actors, starring Michael Caine. The comedy also went to buyers including Icon for Australia and, in Europe, Benelux's Belga and Portugal' s Lusomundo.
"BIM are selective but they seem to be confident with the success they have had in the last few years." said Gold. "They have a beautiful slate."