*East European distributor SPI Entertainment recentlyadded to its slate with the acquisition of Matthew McConnaughy and PenelopeCruz-starring action adventure Sahara. It bought the big-budget actionadventure for Hungary only from Summit Entertainment sister company IS FilmDistribution.
The film, now in post-production, is produced by CrusaderEntertainment and Paramount Pictures with finance from the UK and Germany. Itis already set to handle another desert adventure having previously picked up Alexanderfrom Intermedia last year.
SPI bought rights in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic andSlovakia to a six-title package from Miramax. The package deal is headed by TheBrothers Grimm and includes Cannes' Un Certain Regard picture DearFrankie. 'This deal should send out the message that we are still verymuch in business with Miramax,' said SPI director Ivan Hronec.
The company is also finding an increasingly willing audiencefor documentary titles and recently bought rights in all four of its home territoriesfor the BBC's Blue Planet and Studiocanal's Genesis.
*Russia's Intercinema Art Agency picked up rights toKim Ki-Duk's Venice prizewinning 3-Iron from Cineclick Asia. The indiedistributor plans to open it very quickly with a theatrical release on 4 Nov.
Intercinema is also taking out Wong Kar-wai's 2046,bought from Fortissimo, the following week and will follow that with FrancoisOzon's Venice competition title 5x2.
*Only three days after picking up the Oscar-hopefulNorwegian title Hawaii, Oslo, Trust Film Sales has sold the ErikPoppe-directed picture to Bim of Italy. 'We are thrilled,' saidTrust's Annakarin Stroem. 'We have long wanted to be in business with Bim.They are a class act and this is the first time that we have licensed a pictureto them.'
*Canada's Horizon Entertainment, which has madesomething of a specialisation out of handling Japanese genre-fare licensed MPDPsycho, the new TV series by cult film director Miike Takashi. The serieswas bought by Mikado of Italy, Prism Entertainment of the UK and Pathe forFrance.