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NEWS


Nu Image cuts deals on Chainsaw


BY JEREMY KAY Nu Image has licensed all Ger- man-speaking rights on Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D to Con- stantin Film and closed a deal with Tele München for Robert De Niro comedy The Big Wedding. John Luessenhop is set to begin


shooting Texas Chainsaw Mas- sacre 3D in Texas in June. The project is a co-production between Nu Image/Millennium Films and Lionsgate, which will distribute the film in the US. Carl Mazzocone is producing. The Big Wedding stars Diane


Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Amanda Seyfried alongside De Niro. Justin Zackham wrote and will direct the film, about a dys- functional family, which is set to start shooting in Connecticut in mid-July.


Judi Dench


MIFF strikes Festival Scope platform deal


BY WENDY MITCHELL The Melbourne International Film Festival has partnered with online platform Festival Scope and will create a special section for its 60th edition ( July 21-August 7) called TeleScope. The industry platform already works with several film festivals


including Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Rotterdam. Australian film-makers will be


able to screen their MIFF films on Festival Scope. European directors will be


attending MIFF to present their latest film offerings. They will also sit on various panels and take part


in discussions with emerging Aus- tralian film-makers. MIFF artistic director Michelle


Carey said: “I am hugely excited to work on this project with Festi- val Scope, whose passionate drive to promote independent cinema from all around the world is in accordance with MIFF’s.”


Gaga snags Pina, Devil’s Double for Japan


BYLIZ SHACKLETON Hot off its success with The King’s Speech, Japan’s Gaga Corporation has announced a string of further acquisitions, including Pina from HanWay and The Devil’s Double from Corsan.


Mandela doc fires interest


McKellen, Dench bite for zombie romp


Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Gillian Anderson and Mark Williams are attached to star in Matthew Butler’s 18th-century zombie romp, The Curse Of The Buxom Strumpet. Butler will direct and has


co-written the script with Tori Hart for the feature, in which the inhabitants of a small seaside town are struck down with a deadly illness. The Curse Of The Buxom


Strumpet is an extension of Butler’s 2010 short comedy film E’gad Zombies, also starring McKellen. Butler and Hart are producing


for their UK production company Fizz and Ginger Films, with Margaret Matheson executive-producing. Butler is in talks with sales


agents in Cannes, with a view to shooting the $3.3m (£2m) film in Scotland later this year. Sarah Cooper


BY ANDREAS WISEMAN New Black Films and 25-7 Films are shopping a documentary fea- ture, The Mandela Project, which features exclusive and recent interviews with iconic former leader Nelson Mandela. Directed and produced by


Kemal Akhtar and Kweku Man- dela, Mandela’s grandson, the $3m-budgeted film — currently in pre-production — is co-pro- duced by Victoria Gregory (Man On Wire, Senna) and executive- produced by James Erskine (From The Ashes) and Deepak Sikka (The King’s Speech, Ironclad). Erskine said: “[We are attempt-


ing] to make not only the defini- tive portrait of one of the greatest figures of the 20th century, but an intimate, heartwarming portrait of a man and his family.”


The company, which has also


acquired The Grandmasters from Fortissimo Films, is also launch- ing Japanese titles in Cannes including Hirokazu Kore-eda’s I Wish, Paradise Kiss, based on the manga series by Ai Yazawa, and


Berlinale Panorama selection Into The White Night. Gaga is handling I Wish in Asia


while Wild Bunch handles sales in the rest of the world. Meanwhile, The King’s Speech has crossed $19m in Japan.


Magnet attracts Prime Focus


BY JEREMY KAY Jeanette Buerling’s LA-based finance and production house Magnet Media Group has closed a three-film deal with effects com- pany Prime Focus and will shoot all three in Germany in associa- tion with MMC Studios. Buerling, currently producing


the Halle Berry thriller Dark Tide, is eager to grow Magnet’s German imprint: she has launched a German hub and hired Frank Wegerhoff to oversee production.


Jeanette Buerling First to go under the Prime


Focus deal is the $30m futuristic thriller O2. Prime Focus has previ- ously worked on Tron: Legacy and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, among others.


Fast-rising Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (pictured), the star of Bullhead, has joined Erik Van Looy’s US version of Loft. Nicolas Karakatsanis, DoP of Bullhead, has also signed up for the remake, which shoots next month. Schoenaerts is cast as Filip, who he played in the original version.


China’s Champs Lis extends pact with film market


BYLIZ SHACKLETON The Cannes Marché du Film has signed a co-operation agreement with Beijing-based Champs Lis International to increase the par- ticipation of Chinese companies in the market. The Marché started working


with Champs Lis three years ago to act as its representative in China, and has extended the


arrangement for five years until 2015. The Marché will also work with the China Movie Channel to organise networking events at Cannes. The news was announced at a


press conference on Tuesday with China Movie Channel vice-presi- dent Jia Qi, China Film Promotion International chairman Yang But- ing, China Film Group vice-presi-


dent Le Kexi and Chinese star Fan Bingbing in attendance. “China’s presence in the


Marché is small compared to the size of the China market,” said Cannes Marché director Jérome Paillard. “We want to increase that presence — but it’s not just about numbers, as we want to also help these companies network with the rest of the world.”


CANNESBRIEFS


Japan shoot for Petty horror Eric Bassett’s Los Angeles-based Industrial Entertainment is lining up a Japan shoot with Neal Edelstein and Mike Macari alongside former Kadokawa Pictures USA president Shinya Egawa on horror project Haunted Temple. Genre specialist JT Petty will commence shooting in the autumn.


eOne climbs Devil’s Rock Entertainment One has picked up US and Canadian rights to New Zealand Second World War horror film The Devil’s Rock, directed and co-written by Paul Campion. The deal was negotiated by James Thompson for NZ Film and Jo Sweby for Entertainment One. The Devil’s Rock has also sold to the UK (Metrodome), the Middle East (Phars Film) and New Zealand (Vendetta).


Raft of territories take Blame High Point Films has sold Michael Henry’s debut thriller Blame to Lightning Entertainment for North America, with CTV coming on board for French territories and High Fliers swooping in for the UK and Ireland. HBO has picked up Blame for Central Europe, while DD Dreams and Sinema TV have snapped it up for China and Turkey respectively.


Jitters heads to Germany Raven Banner has licensed German rights to Baldvin Z’s teen drama Jitters to Salzgeber, which plans to release the film in 50 cities. Salzgeber CEO Bjorn Koll and acquisition executive Daniel Ammann negotiated the deal with Raven Banner managing partner Michael Paszt on behalf of producers Ingvar Thordarson and Julius Kemp of the Icelandic Film Company.


Time ticks in London Film London and BBC Films have started shooting Borrowed Time, a comedy-drama from Jules Bishop. The cast features Phil Davis, Perry Benson, Juliet Oldfield and Theo Barklem- Biggs. It is the seventh film in the low-budget Microwave scheme.


Cinemavault gets down with Sex, Dogz And Rock N Roll Toronto-based Cinemavault has acquired international rights to Midnight Madness title Sex, Dogz And Rock N Roll, an action picture which combines stylised animation and live action.


May 18, 2011 Screen International at the Cannes Film Festival 5 n


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