SULLIVAN UNVEILS THREE PROJECTS FOR NEW FEATURE ARM
Toronto-based Sullivan Entertainment Group has put forward three projects,including an animated version of its Anne Of Green Gables franchise, for production through its newly-launched feature film division. The first project, the $8m Anne: The Animated Movie set for completion in September, is slated for a Christmas release this year or in 2002. Next up is Famous Last Words, based on the novel by Canadian author Timothy Findley and budgeted in the $10m-$12m range. Written and to be directed by Sullivan co-founder Kevin Sullivan, the historical adventure fantasy follows a Hollywood scriptwriter whose obsession with the Duchess of Windsor leads him to a conspiracy to put the British Royal Family on the throne of a fascist Europe. Sullivan says he is close to announcing a cast and that the film will roll in February 2002. The third project, New Haven, which Sullivan places in the same vein as Heavenly Creatures, is being adapted by screenwriter Chris Grismer based on the book by Australian author Isobelle Carmody. The films will be sold internationally through London-based Sullivan Entertainment Distribution, which opened last year following the winding down of the company's LA office.The new feature division was mooted last year, when Sullivan first announced its production of The Piano's Man Daughter, based on another Findley novel and executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg.
BERGMAN PLAY CATCHES BUYERS' EYE
Svensk Filmindustri has closed a range of early deals on its varied slate including Imagemakers, a TV version of Ingmar Bergman's latest stage play that was sold to Bim for Italy and has distribution agreements pending in both the US and Japan. Ster kinekor bought Colin Nutley's Gossip for South Africa, Vlaam Centrum bought Benelux on the sequel to Pettson & Findus, Nachson Film of Israel bought Eva & Adam and Brazil's Gag Cultural snapped up rights on You Really Got Me and Faithless. In addition, Nutley's new trilogy, has been sold to Tot Media for Spain.
DOLPHIN SWIMS WITH MAINLINE
UK specialised distributors Blue Dolphin and Mainline Pictures have teamed up to acquire their first film together - Joseph Cedar's Time Of Favour which was Israel's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and won six Israeli Academy Awards this year. The film was sold to them by Ami Artzi and Yoram Globus' Frontline Entertainment.
TRUST UNVEILS CANNES SLATE
Denmark's Trust Film Sales has struck an output deal with prolific Swedish production and distribution outfit Sonet. The newly hatched deal gives Trust, part of Denmark's Zentropa Entertainment empire, two more titles to add to its Cannes list. First up will be Home Sour Home, (Hem Ijuva Hem), a family drama about a 13 year old boy by Asian director Dan Ying. Billed as Sweden's answer to Once Were Warriors, the film stars Michael Nyqvist and Alexandra Rapaport and goes on release in Sweden on March 9. Sonet will also deliver comedy Making Babies. The Cannes market slate will also be expanded by two new dogme video productions: Love Story, by director Ole Christian Madsen from producer Nimbus Film, and A Real Human by Ake Sandgren from Zentropa. The slate is likely to be filled out with Morlang, a drama based on a true story of a man who tricks his wife into committing suicide. Produced by The Netherlands' Phanta Vision, the film is directed by Tjebbo Penning and stars Paul Freeman, Diana Kent, and Susan Lynch. Trust recently added a sale to SAV of Spain on Don's Plum.
IAEG PROVIDES AMY'S ORGASM
Independent Artists Entertainment Group (IAEG) has acquired worldwide rights to Julie Davis' second picture Amy's Orgasm, which is currently in post-production. Davis' first movie I Love You, Don't Touch Me was premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and distributed domestically by MGM/Goldwyn Entertainment. Davis stars as a self-help author who dispenses advice to single women; Nick Chinlund is her love interest, a "shock jock" who avoids intimacy by having sex with everyone. Jeff Cesario plays a priest who listens to tales of her sexual escapades in the confessional. IAEG's CEO Randloph Pitts and chairman N Lee Lacy are executive producing the film with Scott Mandell and David Straus; Davis wrote, produced and edited the film as well as starring in it and directing. Davis has since finished her third film All Over The Guy starring Adam Goldberg, Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow which will be released domestically by Lions Gate in August 2001. IAEG plans to release Amy's Orgasm domestically itself in late 2001 or early 2002.
MYRIAD OUTPUTS THROUGH FILMAX
Myriad Pictures has signed an output deal with Filmax in Spain whereby Filmax will buy all films produced by Myriad for the next three years. The agreement includes Al Pacino-starrer People I Know, The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston and Double Whammy starring Denis Leary and Elizabeth Hurley. Killing Me Softly starring Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes is not included in the deal since Spanish rights had been previously licensed. The deal was negotiated for Myriad by executive vice president of sales and distribution Eric Christenson and sales executive D'Arcy Conrique and on behalf of Filmax by Jorge Tuca, senior vice president of acquisitions, and Carlos Fernandez, president.
THE HEIST HOLDS UP BUYERS
John Fremes' Fusion International has licensed action adventure The Heist to Remstar in Canada, Gaga Communications in Japan, iVision in Korea, Mongkol in Thailand and Suraya in Malaysia. Fusion also closed a deal with Miramax Films for the US and TF1 International which will handle the balance the world excluding the UK for which Fusion is negotiating with several buyers. Since taking on the film, TF1 has closed a Spanish deal with Vertigo and expects to sell out most of its territories by the end of the AFM. The $13.5m film which is directed by Gerard Pires (Taxi) stars Stephen Dorff and Natasha Henstridge. Fremes has also licensed teen comedy Repli-kate to Helkon Media in Germany, Redbus in the UK, Leone in Italy, RCV in Benelux, Sandrew Metronome in Scandinavia, Long Shong in Taiwan, Cathay Pictures in Singapore, Odeon in Greece, P.T. Camila in Indonesia, Samfilm in Iceland and Suraya in Malaysia
BUYERS SEE GREEN
Overseas Filmgroup has sold Joel Hershman's Greenfingers to a raft of major territories, including MGM for the UK. The gardening-themed prison-set romantic comedy was also sold to Alliance Atlantis for Canada, Sagittaire for France, Gaga for Japan, Planeta for Spain, BVI for Scandinavia, Cattleya for Italy, RMD for Greece, Ster Kinekor for South Africa and Pastil for Turkey. Fireworks and Samuel Goldwyn will distribute the film in the US through their IDP umbrella. The film, which stars Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, David Owen and Natasha Little, premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival.
MACLACHLAN, HURT JOIN MIRANDA
Kyle MacLachlan and John Hurt have joined Christina Ricci and John Simm in the cast of FilmFour's provisionally-titled Miranda. The film, produced for FilmFour by the producer-writer-director team of Laurence Bowen, Rob Young and Marc Munden, starts shooting March 12 for seven weeks in London and the North of England. Ricci stars as a woman with multiple identities - including a geisha girl, a business woman, a dancer and a dominatrix.
METRODOME RELEASES SKY PIC IN UK
Sky Pictures, the prolific film production arm of UK satel