Two more films sealed domestic distribution deals at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday. IFC Films made its first acquisition since the departure of former chief Bob Berney, taking US rights to Jean-Pierre Limousin's Novo, while Lions Gate Films Releasing followed up its purchase of Gaspar Noe's Irreversible by buying all North American rights to Steve James' documentary Stevie.
IFC Films' Jonathan Sehring and Sarah Lash negotiated the Novo deal with sales agent Celluloid Dreams. The film is set in France and stars Spanish heartthrob Eduardo Noriega as a man with a memory disorder who struggles to have a relationship with a colleague at the office where he works, played by Anna Mouglalis.
Stevie, sold to Lions Gate by Cinetic Media, is the second feature length documentary from James who won an editing Oscar nomination for his first Hoop Dreams in 1994. It tells the story of how James seeks out a young man ten years after he had known him as a troubled 11 year-old boy.
Lions Gate plans an Oscar qualifying run for the film this year and has set a release date for Feb 2003. For Lions Gate, the deal was negotiated by Tom Ortenberg, Peter Block and Jason Constantine.
Meanwhile, buyers were also circling Chen Kaige's touching drama Together which was receiving offers for sales agent Etchie Stroh of Moonstone Entertainment, and Alan Rudolph's privately financed The Secret Lives Of Dentists starring Campbell Scott and Hope Davis.