The UK's Renaissance Films has added its first ever foreign-language picture to its slate and from this week is pitching an Australian romantic drama starring Heath Ledger and Geoffrey Rush.
The company's first non-English picture is Big Plans, a Danish comedy by Jesper Nielsen, director of hit Okay. It is the story of a small-time crook who has failed at almost everything in life and falls in love a prostitute. Starring Thomas Bo Larsen and Lena Marie, it goes into production next week. Producer Angel Films has Nordic rights and Renaissance the rest of the world.
Candy features Ledger as one half of a couple who are addicted to each other and, more ominously, to heroin. The film is to be directed by a "very experienced first-time director" Neil Armfield who has previously worked with Rush in the theatre. It is to be produced on a budget of US$6m by Margaret Fink and Emile Sherman and has already received backing from the FFC. Local distributor Dendy Films has Australasian rights, Renaissance all other territories. Candy goes into pre-production in March 2004.
"These are really strong projects, both of which have been brought to us through the quality of our client relations," said Renaissance principal Angus Finney.
Renaissance has also completed key sales on drama We Don't Live Here Any More. The Laura Dern, Naomi Watts and Marc Ruffalo-starring picture, which should be ready in Spring 2004, was licensed to Bim for Italy, LNK for Portugal, Odeon for Greece and Dendy for Australia and New Zealand.
The group has also put back Vapor, its Sandra Bullock-Ralph Fiennes romantic fable. The picture, which is directed by Neil LaBute, was headed for a scheduling clash with Bullock-vehicle Miss Congeniality II. Vapor, with a budget now slimmed down to $22m, will shoot in June or July 2004.