‘Fish’ cooks in Berlin

Hot from the Sundance Film Festival, Rose Troche’s “Go Fish” has emerged as one of the fastest-selling pix in the market here, with theatrical distribution deals already agreed to in five international territories.

The Samuel Goldwyn Co., which picked up world rights to the low-budget lesbian comedy last month, has sold it to Mainline Pictures in the U.K., Dendy Films in Australia, Nemo in Italy, Cine Co. in Spain and Schani in Israel.

The deals indicate the burgeoning interest in lesbian and gay films worldwide , matching their growing success in the North American market.

According to sources, the U.K. deal for “Go Fish” was prompted by the surprising strong video rental sales of a previous lesbian movie, “Claire of the Moon,” which shifted 10,000 units last year in London’s Virgin Megastore alone.

Significantly, one of the few other American low-budget movies at Berlin that has secured international distribution is the gay-themed “Grief,” by Richard Glatzer, which is being released in the U.S. by Strand Releasing. It is being handled worldwide by Jane Balfour Films and has been sold to the ICA and Channel Four in the U.K.

However, Michael Corrente’s well-reviewed “Federal Hill,” the semi-autobiographical story of a boy fighting his way out of a rough neighborhood, is also attracting offers from U.S. and foreign distributors, although no deals have yet been signed.

According to Corrente, his film missed selection for Sundance after he decided not to make cuts requested by the festival organizers. “I grew up in a tough Mafia neighborhood, and I managed to get out of there,” he said. “I’m certainly not going to change my film for anybody now.”

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