Sales companies head into the first weekend of Toronto hopeful that the independent sector’s appetite for commercial fare will continue to fuel business in a burgeoning unofficial market
The Weinsteins, Fox Searchlight and Sony are believed to be among a pack of domestic buyers circling the Christian Bale-starrer Heroes Of Nanking, directed by Zhang Yimou and shaping up to be China’s likely Oscar submission.
International sales agent FilmNation is screening footage at the Varsity this morning and David Linde and Stephen Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb are representing domestic rights.
Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content will screen Amy Heckerling’s Vamps for domestic buyers on Monday after Parlay Films handled international sales in recent markets. “The move to Downtown has changed the festival significantly,” Iwashina said. “I feel the business around it has become just as important as the movies in it.”
IM Global chief Stuart Ford aims to capitalise on $60m-plus (£40m) UK box office of smash comedy The Inbetweeners Movie. In a typically canny move, Ford, who represents worldwide rights, has recruited 300 teenagers to attend a show for domestic buyers at the Cumberland on Sunday. “We could have screened it in Cannes but the anticipation now among buyers is high,” he said.
In terms of international activity, Exclusive is revving up pre-sales on Ron Howard’s F1 motor racing drama Rush after coming on board to co-finance with Cross Creek Pictures, while Inferno is talking up Allen Hughes’ upcoming $50m crime thriller Broken City to star Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg.
Voltage Pictures will look to benefit from a pre-festival screenplay mail-out of the Kristen Wiig comedy Imogene and Sierra/Affinity has boarded sales on the space adventure Europa. Other notable screenings here include The War Of The Buttons from Wild Bunch.