Pathe has acquired rights to a quartet of buzz features from Cannes. Deals have been sealed for UK and French rights to Focus Features International's Blindness; UK rights to 2929 International's What Just Happened' and Fortissimo's Mama's Boy; and UK and French rights to Edko Films' Blood: The Last Vampire, which Pathe co-financed.
Francois Ivernel, executive vice president of Pathe, said: 'Combining acquisitions for Pathe's French and UK operations is proving to be extremely efficient and strategically successful for securing some of the strongest titles in the market'. All acquisitions were negotiated by Ivernel and head of acquisitions, Emil Elmer on behalf of Pathe.
Blindness, to be directed by Fernando Meirelles, is adapted by Don McKellar from the novel by Jose Saramago. It centres on an outbreak of blindness that envelops a city and forces a band of people to rally against the extreme government response.
The film is produced by Niv Fichman, Sonoko Sakai, Andrea Barata Ribeiro and executive produced by Simon Channing Williams and Gail Egan, who produced Meirelles previous feature The Constant Gardener. Blindness is currently in pre-production, with filming scheduled to commence in autumn 2007.
Alison Thompson negotiated on behalf of Focus Features International.
Barry Levinson's What Just Happened' is about a fading movie producer (Robert De Niro) trying to revitalise his career while dealing with problems at home and at work.
Currently in production, the film also stars Bruce Willis, John Turturro, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn and Stanley Tucci and is based on the novel by Art Linson. Shebnem Askin negotiated on behalf of 2929 International.
Mama's Boy, directed by Tim Hamilton, sees Jon Heder play a late twentysomething slacker who lives with his mum (Diana Keaton) - but realises his sweet set-up is threatened when she hears wedding bells with her self-help guru (Jeff Bridges).
The film is currently in post-production and will be released in 2008. Nicole Mackey negotiated the sale on behalf of Fortissimo.
Now shooting, Chris Nahon's $35m English-language feature Blood: The Last Vampire is a live-action adaptation of a Japanese manga about a female vampire slayer enlisted by the US military.
Produced by Bill Kong, Abel Nahmias and Ronny Yu, it stars Gianna Jun, Allison Miller, Liam Cunningham and Colin Salmon. Bill Kong negotiated on behalf of Edko Films.