Germany's Kinowelt has announced its first raft of acquisitions from the Cannes official programme and market as well as projects picked up on the strength of their screenplays.
James Toback's documentary Tyson, which screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar and won the Knock Out Award, was bought from Wild Bunch as well as Darren Aronofsky's new project The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke as an ageing wrestler.
In addition, the distributor acquired German rights to the dance film Make It Happen, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, from The Weinstein Company, the new Mike Myers comedy The Love Guru with Justin Timberlake, which Paramount is releasing in many overseas territories in July after its June 20 US domestic release, and Antoine Fuqua's action cop drama Brookyln's Finest, which will be headlined by Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke and Ellen Barkin, from Millenium Films.
Negotiations were also concluded in Cannes for Saw 5, the latest edition of the horror franchise which Kinowelt has successfully marketed in Germany. The film is currently shooting in Canada and the US and will be released by Kinowelt in autumn/winter 2008.
In addition, Kinowelt acquired the rights from its mother company Studio Canal to French filmmaker Thomas Balmes' unique documentary Baby(ies) which follows four babies in California, Japan, the Mongolian steppe and the Namibian savannah from their birth to their first birthday. The theatrical release is planned for 2009.Kinowelt International's managing director Daniel Guckau revealed that negotiations are continuing for 'a few larger US productions with theatrical potential' and noted that 'the market was more limited this year; particularly in the mainstream area, there was only a small range of films on offer both for the completed films as well as in the pre-sales market. The arthouse market was dominated by films which are a delight from the cineaste's perspective, but will not have it easy in the theatrical market due to their difficult subjects.'