Before coming to an abrupt halt, buying was hotting up at the Toronto International Film Festival with Miramax Films close to buying worldwide rights on Walter Salles' Behind The Sun and closing in domestic rights to Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers. Meanwhile Sony Pictures Classics is circling Jill Sprecher's ensemble piece 13 Conversations About One Thing.
Miramax was in final negotiations to acquire worldwide rights excluding France, Switzerland and Brasil to Behind The Sun. The film, produced by Salles' Central Station producer Arthur Cohn, played in competition at the Venice Film Festival although to the surprise of many it walked away empty-handed on awards night.
Written by Salles, Sergio Machado and Karim Ainouz and based on the book Broken April by Albanian novelist Ismail Kadar, Behind The Sun is set in Brasil in 1910 and tells the stories of two families locked in a generations-old feud. Jean Labadie and Carole Scotta are the associate producers, with Mauricio Andrade Ramos and Liliam Birnbaum executive producers.
Miramax, which last week took multiple territories on Indian film The Warrior during Venice, also handled international territories on Central Station and is in development with Salles on a number of films which he will direct or produce.
The film was brought to Miramax by Mark Gill, president of Miramax LA, and Agnes Mentre, executive vice president of acquisitions and co-production; Gill, Mentre and Stuart Ford, senior vice president of acquisitions and international operations for Miramax, are negotiating with Cohn and attorney Patty Glazer.
Miramax declined comment on the negotiations. The company is also believed to be the frontrunner to buy domestic rights to FilmFour's well-received military drama Buffalo Soldiers starring Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris and Anna Paquin. The film world premiered over the weekend at Toronto.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics has emerged as the lead contender to buy US rights on Sprecher's 13 Conversations which played at both Venice and Toronto. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Amy Irving, Alan Arkin, John Turturro and Clea DuVall; WMA Independent is handling the domestic sale with Overseas Filmgroup handling international rights.