FTD Entreprises, a division of France Television Distribution (FTD), the film and television rights trading arm of French public broadcaster France Television, has acquired all French rights (theatrical, television and home video) to Alliance Atlantis' 29 Palms. This underscores FTD's commitment to aggressively strengthening its international film sales and French and foreign rights trading activities.
California-set 29 Palms, a second effort by South American film-maker Leonardo Ricagni, featuring Chris O'Donnell, Bill Pullman, Michael Rapaport and Rachel Leigh Cook, is currently in post-production.
This is the second time that FTD has pre-bought all rights to a US title. Through its film division, President Films, FTD recently pre-bought all French rights to MGM's $120m Windtalkers, directed by John Woo and starring Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater. Currently in post-production, Windtalkers will be released in France by Pathe Distribution.
President, whose slate include mostly high-end French titles such as Cannes closing film Savage Souls, aims to be involved in a limited number of hand-picked English-language titles with budgets up to $25m. Earlier this year, the outfit picked up worldwide rights on Roger Spottiswoode's $25m The Spike, produced by Malcolm Craddock's Picture Palace.
France Television Distribution, headed by Marc Bonduel under president Rene Bonnell, comprises three divisions - FTD Entreprises, the publishing and home video distribution arm headed by Jean-Paul Commin; FTD International, the television sales unit headed by Herve Michel; and the film sales unit, President Films, headed by Hugo Bergson-Vuillaume.