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TODAY The Day He Arrives: a Finecut sale Editorial (33) 4 97 06 85 35

AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL Advertising (33) 4 97 06 85 37

Market hops with must-haves Fred Schepisi

Icon breathes life into The Drowner

BY ANDREAS WISEMAN Fred Schepisi has signed on to direct The Drowner, John Collee’s (Happy Feet, Master And Com- mander) adaptation of Robert Drewe’s 1890s-set novel about a young British engineer who travels to Western Australia to help build a pipeline from the coast to the country’s Goldfi elds. Robert Jones (The Usual Sus-

pects, The Constant Gardener) is producing alongside Australian Stephen Van Mil of Impian fi lms. The Australia-based Icon is on board as a producer. Producer Van Mil is lining up an

A-list cast on the project, which also has backing from ScreenWest, Screen Australia and private-equity investors. Speaking to Screen, Van Mil estimates the budget at $50m. Principal photography is due to

get under way early next year. Impian is also developing the

$10m-budgeted Shallows, a romantic drama adapted by Tim Winton from his own novel about a family of whalers. That project is set in Africa and France, and Van Mil is seeking Belgian co-produc- ers in Cannes with a shoot sched- uled for the end of the year.

BY JEREMY KAY High deal volume, a compelling roster of commercial must-haves and the return of a competitive US marketplace coupled with a renewed appetite for Japanese pre- buys were among the high points of a stirring Cannes market. A vibrant festival selection

buoyed spirits and sparked the customary fl ow of arthouse deals, and the independent sector also showed aggressive response to a raft of studio-level product. As the studios withdraw from

edgier fare, fi nanciers have proved willing to step into the fray. “But can the indies step up or will the studios mop up after the festival?” one buyer’s rep asked. That said, a quartet of $100m

projects virtually sold out: Summit International’s Pompeii, Film- Nation’s Relativity title The Broth- ers Grimm: Snow White, Focus’

Jason Statham thriller Killer Elite. New Red Granite Pictures is on

The Artist

Cloud Atlas and Sierra/Affinity’s Ender’s Game. Buyers also fl ocked to Exclusive

Film International’s End Of Watch; IM Global’s broadest-ever slate, led by The Last Days Of American Crime, Welcome To The Punch and Spectre; Inferno’s Stephenie Meyer project The Host; and Lionsgate’s comedy Great Hope Springs. US buyers were notably engaged

in the big-game hunt. FilmDistrict moved on Rian Johnson’s Looper and Gabriele Muccino’s Playing The Field, while Open Road will kick off with a huge summer release for

board The Wolf Of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio and Megan Ellison’s backer Annapurna Films stirred the pot by reviving the Ter- minator franchise and closing a US deal with The Weinstein Company on The Wettest County. The big international hits here

included Wild Bunch’s The Artist, Pathé’s The Iron Lady, Gaumont’s The Conquest and Independent’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. “We built a very solid slate,

which we will roll out across the three Alliance territories,” Robert Walak of Momentum said. Olivier Albou of French sales company Other Angle, here with the third entry in its Would I Lie To You fran- chise, added: “We believe the crisis is coming to an end and that when we have the right product, there are people to buy it.”


(From left) Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lars von Trier and Kirsten Dunst at the photocall for Melancholia. See controversy story, top right, and review, p8.

Other Angle toasts raft of deals

Other Angle, reporting its biggest market ever, has closed a raft of deals on all of its titles, including La Verité Si Je Mens 3 to Benelux (Elysée) and Switzerland (JMH), with offers in from Canada and strong interest in non-French speaking territories. There are also Canadian offers, and an Israeli offer, on family film Nicostratos, Le Pélican. Philippe Lioret’s All Our Desires

sold to Brazil (Imovision), Finland (Cinema Mondo) and Canada (Metropole), with offers in from Benelux, Italy and Germany. Gilles

Legrand’s You Will Be My Son is with Switzerland’s JMH, with offers from Benelux, Germany and Canada. Olivier Dahan’s The Lords is at Elysée in Benelux, with offers from Germany and Switzerland. La Premiere Etoile screenwriter

Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s debut feature First Love has offers in from Benelux, Switzerland, Spain and several Asian territories. Other Angle CEO Olivier Albou

said: “We created buzz here. That’s what we wanted to achieve.” Nancy Tartaglione

» Bleiberg has licensed Roland Joffe’s There Be Dragons to Stealth Media in the UK and HIG in China. Bleiberg also closed deals in Canada (VVS), the Middle East (Eagle), Portugal (ZON-Lusomundo), Turkey (Ozen), India (Tanweer) and the Philippines (Suraya). » SND has strong sales on vampire fantasy Livid for the UK (Optimum), German-speaking territories (Tiberius), Australia (Madman), Benelux (Victory), Turkey (Medyavizyon) and the Middle East (Gulf).

NEWS Fine Day Korea’s Finecut sells two festival films to Japan » PAGE 2


BREAKING NEWS Festival organisers said they were “disturbed” by statements made by director Lars von Trier in his official press conference for Melancholia in which he called himself a Nazi and that he “sympathized with Hitler a little bit”. Von Trier issued an apology last night: “If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologise. I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi.”

This is Screen’s last Cannes print edition for 2011. Thanks to everyone for a great year. Please keep following all Cannes news and reviews at

Little Princess travels well

BY GEOFFREY MACNAB Urban Distribution International has sold Eva Ionesco’s My Little Princess, which screens in Critics’ Week, to Germany/Austria (X Ver- leih), Taiwan (Joint) and Benelux (ABC/Cinemien). Pablo Giorgelli’s Las Acacias and

Hard Labor by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra both sold to Bodega for France. Urban has also picked up omni-

bus fi lm Histories Of Cinema, and Stephen Bradley’s Wayfaring Strangers. Soda already has UK rights.

StudioCanal hots up with Romantics, Photograph

BY NANCY TARTAGLIONE StudioCanal’s Harold van Lier says the market has been “exceptional” for the company, which has com- pleted strong pre-sales on its titles — the majority of which are now English-language productions. With 25 territories already in

place, Jean-Pierre Améris’ roman- tic comedy Romantics Anonymous has been acquired by Tribeca Film for the US. Other major films on Studio-

Canal’s slate that were hot sellers include The Last Photograph, star- ring Christian Bale and Sean Penn,

which closed deals in 16 territories including Latin America (Sun), Scandinavia (Mis Label), Switzer- land (Impuls) and Greece (Village Roadshow). La Délicatesse, starring Audrey

Tautou, pre-sold to 15 territories including Spain (A Contracorri- ente), Greece (Village Roadshow), Scandinavia (Mis Label), Korea (Tae Kwang) and Russia (Carmen). The Awakening, starring

Rebecca Hall, has con tinued pre- sales with deals in Germany (Wild Bunch), Australia (Madman) and Scandinavia (Nordisk). Stefan

Ruzowitzky’s Blackbird, starring Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde, has added deals in Mexico (Gussi), Russia (Top Film), China (Bona) and Turkey (TMC). Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor

Soldier Spy, animation Sammy’s Adventures 2 and Attack The Block are now virtually sold out world- wide with the latter closing in Ger- many (Wild Bunch) and Japan (CCC); Screen Gems has the US. Finally, Special Forces, starring

Diane Kruger, is sold out, except in the US, where van Lier says “there is a lot of heat on it”.


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