Roadshow has joined the list of buyers attached to RomanPolanski's unfinished version of the Dickens classic Oliver Twist, oneof a trio of titles Australia's biggest independent theatrical distributor hasacquired from Summit Entertainment.
Picked up from script is Tony Gilroy's directorial debut,Michael Clayton, regarded by managing director Joel Pearlman as aparticularly hot title and set to star George Clooney as a fixer in a lawcompany, and the tough action crime drama Harsh Times.
Harsh Times is the directorial debut ofscreenwriter David Ayer (SWAT, Training Day, The Fast And The Furious).Set in South Central LA, and stars Christian Bale, Freddy Rodriguez and Eva Longoria from DesperateHousewives.
Another film acquired on the strength of its script was She'sThe Man, about a teenager who poses as her missing twin brother. AndyFickman is set to direct with Lakeshore handling sales.
Roadshow handles New Line and Warner Bros product as wellas acquiring independent titles, including niche fare.
Becker Films International has scored a number of saleson psychological thriller Feed.
New UK distributor Showbox has bought UK rights, Paradisohas acquired Benelux rights and Phars Film has bought the Middle East.
The controversial film centres on the world of 'feeders'- men who seek out obese women and, for their own gratification, fatten themeven more. In the film, one such woman disappears and a hotshot investigatorwith his own problems gets involved.
The film was directed by Brett Leonard (Man-Thin, TheLawnmower Man), and stars Alex O'Loughlin (The Oyster Farmer) andson-and-father Patrick and Jack Thompson, who is also executive producer.
At Cannes Becker also sold Hollywood/Bollywood romanticcomedy Marigold, which has just wrapped production, to MD Media forIndonesian pushing the sales tally up to 10 territories.
Based on the promo only, Telepool bought German rightsand Phars bought the Middle East on Like Minds. The psychologicalthriller stars Toni Collette and is director Gregory Read's debut film.
Ljubljanski Kinematografi bought the Middle East onanother of Becker's Australian films, Three Dollars.
Becker president Reiko Bradley is still hoping to raisefinance on the Islamic anthology film Five Worlds and Where Love Reigns,based on the true story of the love affair, 100 years ago, between SabinaSpielrein and Carl Jung, who was treating her at the time.
Magna Pacific has also now signed off on two titles as aresult of Cannes. Lonely Hearts, starring Salma Hayek and John Travolta,was acquired from Nu Image, and is based on the true story of a US serialkiller in the 1950s.
The romantic comedy Because I Said So, fromMandate Pictures, stars Diane Keaton as a mother who goes searching for apartner for the eldest of her three daughters. Australian director GillianArmstrong, who previously worked with Keaton on Mrs Soffel, will direct.
"Our aim is to acquire true theatrical movies with strongstory lines and A list cast," Magna Pacific executive director Leon Coninghamtold ScreenDaily.Com. "We want thrillers, horror films and romanticcomedies that have long-term DVD legs and are still selling in 10 years."
The previous partnership with Becker was not deliveringsuch movies and this was one reason it was dissolved, he said: "We are thelargest independent DVD distributor in the country and understand that 70% ofthe revenue base is from home entertainment. We have strong cashflows as aresult, allowing us to take a long-term perspective on what is a riskybusiness."
Six titles will be finding their way to Australia viaMadman, another company with a significant presence in homes. They includeLumina Films' sexy raw Brazilian Prix de la Jeunesse winner Lower Cityfrom first-timer Sergio Machado, Celluloid Dreams' dramatic thriller TheAura, which sees Nine Queens director Fabian Bielinsky again teamwith actor Ricardo Darin, and The Works' Tickets, the collaborationbetween directors Ken Loach, Abbas Kiarostami and Ermanno Olmi.
The black comedy drama Living And Breathing wasbought from Renaissance off script and is set to star Tom Wilkinson, AngelicaHouston and America's desert landscapes. Wolfgang Herzog's documentary aboutthe passionate, disturbed animal activist Timothy Treadwell, who lived withgrizzly bears each summer in Alaska until he was killed by one, comes fromLions Gate. The sixth film, Michael Haneke's Hidden, will be jointlyreleased by Madman and Dendy.
Potential picked up from Celluloid Dreams the documentaryDarwin's Nightmare, which tracks the ecological and economic effects ofa foreign fish species being introduced into Lake Victoria, and The NationalFilm Board of Canada's The Last Trapper, a drama filmed in spectacularwilderness and depicting a dying way of life.
Celluloid Dreams also sold Potential the cross-culturalcomedy drama Sabah, set in Toronto, and GreenStreet Films came up withSally Potter's Yes, which principal Mark Spratt first saw in Berlin.Sharmill
Finally, Sharmill has acquired the rights to The Valet (La Doublure), the new romantic comedy from Francis Veber. Executive director Natalie Millersaid: "We distributed Veber's previous hits The Dinner Game, The Closet and Tais Tois, and are very excited with the prospect of his new film which is currently shooting with Daniel Auteuil and Kristen Scott Thomas in lead roles."
Also purchased in Cannes was Brasileirinho, directed by Mika Kaurismaki, a musical documentary film about CHORO, a genuinely urban music that has evolved over the past 130 years into a modern tropical sound. Just before Cannes, Sharmill bought director Oliver Marchal's stylish French thriller, 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, and set on the streets of Paris.