Day six of the TorontoInternational Film Festival saw three films close domestic deals. Sony PicturesClassics bought North American rights to Kim Ki-Duk's Korean drama SpringSummer Fall Winter...And Spring,United Artists bought North American rights to Jim Jarmusch's Coffee AndCigarettes and Newmarket Films madeits second buy of the festival, sealing US rights to Anders Thomas Jensen'sDanish comedy The Green Butchers.
SPC, which last week boughtFerzan Optek's Facing Window for North America, closed on Locarno favouriteSpring Summer... yesterday. The film, which is screening at Toronto, follows thelifetime of a boy who grows into adulthood, discovering faith and inner peaceat an isolated monastery. The film was written, directed and edited by Kim Ki-duk.
"We have watched the wave of enthusiasm grow for SpringSummer... at every screening the filmhas had in both Europe and at the Toronto International Film Festival and arethrilled to be involved with such a lyrical, poignant film from a director wehave admired for years," said SPC co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernardin a statement. "That this is the first ever Korean picture for SPC, is veryspecial."
The deal was negotiated byBarker, Bernard and Dylan Leiner, senior vice president of acquisition andproductions, with Youngjoo Suh, managing director of Cineclick Asia. "With thisbeautiful and contemplative film, we hope audiences in the US can discover andunderstand Korean films better," said Suh in a statement.
For UA president BinghamRay, the Coffee And Cigarettes dealmarked a reunion with Jarmusch whose Year Of The Horse he distributed at October Films. The black and whiteCoffee And Cigarettes, whichpremiered at Venice before Toronto, is a series of vignettes featuring variouscharacters sitting around sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes and chatting. Itincorporates new vignettes alongside the celebrated shorts of the same titleand the cast includes Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop,Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett, Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan and Bill Murray.
"Jim and I have workedtogether before and have been friends for a very long time," said Ray in astatement. "He's a wonderful, innovative filmmaker, and I'm pleased to get theopportunity to work with him again on a film as exciting and interesting as Coffeeand Cigarettes."
"I'm thrilled to have thischance to work again with Bingham," says Jarmusch. "United Artists is a great home for the film."
The deal was negotiated byICM's Bart Walker and producers Joana Vicente and Stacey Smith for Jarmusch,with Ray, Danny Rosett, Jack Turner and Lindsay Crain for UA.
Meanwhile Newmarket, whichat the weekend closed a deal to distribute Patty Jenkins' Monster, bought Jensen's comedy from Nordisk InternationalSales. Newmarket's Bob Berney and William Tyrer negotiated with Sanne Arloe ofNordisk for the film which follows two young butchers (played by Mads Mikkelsenand Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who accidentally come up with a new hit recipe - people. Berney hadpreviously bought Open Hearts starring Mikkelsen and Kaas which was alsowritten by Jensen.
"We love working with the Danes," says Berney in astatement. "We are happy to be continuing our successful relationshipwith them on this wicked new comedy The Green Butchers,which brings together some of the most innovative andtalented filmmakers and actors inEurope."
Noah Communication alsopicked the film up for Israel this week at the festival.
The Green Butchers performed solidly at the local box-office when itwas released in March, but its darker more grotesque tone prevented it fromliving up the director's feature debut Flickering Lights, which was a major hit in 2000.
The young Jensen, who won anOscar for best short film Election Night in 1999, has also been a successful writer (In China They Eat Dogs,Old Men In New Cars) and co-writer (WilburWants To Kill Himself, Mifune, Stealing Rembrandt) and earlier this year picked up a special awardfrom the Danish film critics for his contribution to Danish cinema. He ispresently collaborating with filmmakers like SusanneBier, Lone Scherfig and Jannik Johansen.
The Green Butchers was produced by Kim Magnusson and Tivi Magnusson fortheir M&M Productions. The US sale could mean that the film is in a betterposition to become Denmark's official Oscar-candidate, a position presentlyheld by Per Fly's The Inheritance,which will have its international premiere in competition in San Sebastian.