NEW YORK — Miramax Films has nabbed two pics — “Full Tilt Boogie,” Sarah Kelly’s docu about the making of the vampire Western “From Dusk Till Dawn,” and “The Truce,” Francesco Rosi’s film about Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi that stars John Turturro.
“Boogie,” which was executive produced by “Dusk” co-writer and star Quentin Tarantino, made its premiere last week at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Tarantino and “Dusk” director Robert Rodriguez were both on hand for the preem.
“Sarah worked as a p.a. on ‘Pulp Fiction,’ but I always knew that she would be a filmmaker in her own right,” Tarantino told Daily Variety. “When I showed the film to Harvey and Bob (Weinstein, Miramax co-chairmen), they laughed from beginning to end. I’m so happy it’s going out under (the) Miramax (banner).”
By releasing the docu, Miramax can help create heat around the upcoming prequel and sequel to “Dusk,” which are slated to be shot simultaneously later this year by the company’s genre banner, Dimension Films. Rodriguez is developing the prequel while the sequel is being developed by Tarantino (Daily Variety, Dec. 23, 1996).
“Boogie” follows “Dusk” producers Lawrence Bender and Paul Hellerman, the cast and crew from Holly-wood to a set in Barstow, Calif., where union difficulties, out-of-control special effects and a blinding dust storm threaten to shut the film down.
Selling “Boogie” to Miramax “feels like heaven,” said Kelly, who is writing a screenplay called “The Blessed Virgins,” based on her 12 years at Catholic girls school. Mike Simpson and Lee Stollman of William Morris and attorney Carlos Goodman negotiated the sale.
A Miramax spokeswoman said the company bought North American rights for the English-language version of “The Truce” from Capitol Films of London during AFM (there is also an Italian-language version which bowed in Turin, Italy, on Feb. 10). The company does not plan to release the pic theatrically, but rather to sell TV rights, she said.
It took 10 years for “Truce” director Rosi to get his film made. The writer/director gained Levi’s approval in 1987 to adapt Levi’s book of the same name, but the project lost momentum after the writer committed suicide. Project picked up again when producer Leo Pescarolo became involved at the urging of Martin Scorsese.
Pescarolo put together a complicated financing package from Italian, Swiss, French and German sources, with a $3.5 million minimum guarantee from Capitol Films completing the $13 million budget. Sharing producing credit with Pescarolo is Guido De Laurentiis.
Turturro is repped by Bart Walker of ICM.