A round-up of the latest news taken from the Screen International AFM dailies
For related stories from the 2002 American Film Market - type: AFM into the search bar at the top of the Screendaily homepage.
Lions Gate Films International has sold a slew of territories on its award-winning Monster's Ball for which Oscar contender Halle Berry won the Silver Bear for best actress at the recent Berlin Film Festival.
Entertainment Film Distributors bought the film for the UK, Hoyts for Australia, Metropolitan Filmexport for France, Vertigo Films for Spain and Gaga Communications in Japan. Other sales were concluded in Scandinavia with Scanbox, in Switzerland with Ascot Elite and Benelux with Les Films L'Elysee. The film has grossed more than $8m to date in the US on limited release through Lions Gate Films, which will expand to about 1,600 screens from Feb 22.
With the Amelie phenomenon spurred on by five Oscar nominations, the film's star Audrey Tautou continues to interest buyers - currently in TF1 International's He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie'Pas Du Tout!).
At Berlin, the film sold to a slew of territories including Germany (Prokino), Canada (Films de Seville), Italy (Bim), Switzerland (Film Coopy), Greece (Odeon), Czech Republic (Paradise Films), Poland (Best Films), Israel (Shapira) and Belgium (Les Films de l'Elysees). TF1 reports overwhelming response from the UK, US and Asia and will likely seal deals by market's end.
The film is a first-time effort from Laetitia Colombani whose script so impressed producer Charles Gassot that he greenlit the project after reading it on a short plane ride. Gassot's Telema is 49% owned by TF1 International who are handling global sales on the $5m picture.
Tautou stars alongside Brotherhood Of The Wolf star Samuel Le Bihan in what's being called a suspense/love story, which marks a departure for the impish actress.
TF1 is also looking to complete English language territories on Etienne Chatillez's Tanguy. The comedy about a 28-year-old who still lives with his parents has been a smash in France and has UK and US buyers circling.
Creative Light Entertainment has acquired worldwide distribution rights outside Germany to the WWII action comedy All The Queen's Men starring Matt LeBlanc and Eddie Izzard and directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. Ted Chalmers, president of worldwide distribution for Creative Light Worldwide, negotiated the acquisition with producer of the film Marco Weber who is also the CEO of Atlantic Streamline. Atlantic Streamline retains German distribution rights.
The film revolves around a motley team of Special Forces agents who are sent to WWII Nazi Germany to infiltrate, in disguise, a female-run Enigma factory in Berlin and bring back the decoding device. Udo Kier and Edward Fox co-star..
Brazil's foremost sales and distribution company Grupo Novo de Cinema e TV will be screening Beto Brant's The Trespasser (O Invasor) this coming Tuesday, (Feb 26) marking the company's first scheduled screening at the AFM since its re-entry to the market last year.
The Trespasser has been fielding several sales overtures since it screened to packed theatres at Berlin and won the Best Latin American Feature at Sundance last month. Grupo Novo says it is currently in talks with buyers from France, Spain, the US and various Latin American territories.
While at Sundance, Brant was approached for US re-make rights and directing jobs outside Brazil. Brant's third feature, The Trespasser won a cache of prizes at the Brasilia Film Festival last year, including Best Director, Best Soundtrack, the Critics Prize and a Best Actor award for Paulo Miklos.
The Trespasser is a searing portrayal of modern day Brazil, particularly the massive gap between the haves and have-nots. Set in Brant's hometown of Sao Paolo, the thriller is fast paced, boasts excellent cinematography and a vibrant soundtrack of Brazilian rap and hip hop.
Last year, Grupo Novo returned to the AFM after a ten-year absence after forging an alliance with new non profit organization Brazilian Cinema Promotion (BCP).
Mercure Distribution has added two films to its slate this week both from French distributor/producer ARP Selection.
The first, Les Femmes Ou Les Enfants D'Abord (Women Or Children First) is the newest film from Western director Manuel Poirier. Starring Cesar winners Sergi Lopez of Harry He's Here To Help fame and Sylvie Testud of Les Blessures Assassines.
The film is "wonderful," says Mercure's Loic Magneron who adds, "I'm not saying this because we're selling it, but I really think it's going to be a big hit!"
The film centers on Lopez, a 40-ish Breton whose family gets a surprise when his ex-girlfriend rings up after eight years to announce that he is the father of her 8 year-old daughter. ARP will release the $6 million film in France on March 20.
The second picture, La Repentie (The Repentant), marks a return to the screen of French superstar Isabelle Adjani. Adjani last appeared on celluloid in 1998's Paparazzi where she played herself. Directed by A Vendre (For Sale) helmer Laetita Masson, La Repentie is an $8.5m thriller and also stars Sami Frey and Samy Naceri.
Hong Kong sales outfit Golden Network has added two Thai films to its AFM line-up. Golden Network head, Carrie Wong is busily trying to arrange an AFM screening for Bangkok Haunted, a horror triptych directed by Oxide Pang, director of Bangkok Dangerous, and Pisuth Praesaeng-Iam. The film, produced by RS Film and Distribution, takes three different Asian views of dying through the themes of love, desire and revenge.
The company is also newly representing Killer Tattoo, a futuristic comedy about four hired assassins all chasing the same target. It is directed by Yuthlert Sippapak and produced by Praesaeng-Iam at RS.
Thailand has become a productive hunting ground for Wong. Already on her slate is Nothing To Lose, a drama by Oxide Pang's brother Danny, The Moonhunter, another drama, this time by Bhandit Ritthakol and, arguably the biggest title on her slate, epic battle film Bang Rajan, The Legend Of The Village Warriors. The firm is also representing other titles from Hong Kong, China and Singapore.
The Government of India has decided to ease the restrictions on the tough import rules for films. A new import policy has been framed by the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade for the import of films in the form of 35mm prints, video tape, compact disc, laser disc and digital video disc and removing the licensing requirements. According to the new policy, the Indian Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will give the required permissions and one window clearance to importers for the import of foreign reprints of Indian films. All the other import requirements including mandatory participation in International festivals and review in reputed trade