Sales arm wants more non-Gallic fare

TF1 Intl., the 2-year-old film sales arm of France’s leading television network TF1, is looking to beef up the number of non-French pics it handles.

Initially founded to sell smash Gallic comedy “Un Indien dans la Ville,” the company’s slate so far has been exclusively made up of local fare, including Philippe Harel’s current comedy “Hikers,” recent French box office dud “Witch Way Love” and Directors Fortnight participant “Ma Vie en Rose.”

Now Perrine Teze, managing director of international sales, says she wants to return to Cannes next year “with half of our pictures coming from outside France.”

TF1 made its first U.S. splash by taking a $13 million stake in Martin Scorsese’s “Casino,” and the group’s film chief, Guillaume de Verges, has been in talks with U.S. companies to invest further in Stateside projects for which TF1 Intl. will retain a sales mandate for certain international territories, mainly in Europe.

Negotiations continue

At the same time, negotiations continue in Cannes between TF1 execs and London-based Granada Film for a partnership on “The Misadventures of Margaret,” starring Parker Posey and Brooke Shields.

Although no deal has been completed, the talks appear to be leading to a co-production between Granada and TF1 Films Production, with main international sales being handled by TF1 Intl.

Here in Cannes, Teze and her team have been starting sales on Patrice Leconte’s current $32 million adventure comedy “Half a Chance,” starring Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Vanessa Paradis.

German rights have gone to Helkon Media, Mexico and Russia have been closed and Japanese offers are said to be in the $900,000 zone.

Last week’s meet-the-cast luncheon with some 200 buyers paid off for Philippe de Broca’s $30 million “On Guard,” which will be released in France in December.

Of the main territories, the U.K. and the U.S. are practically all that’s left, although both Miramax and Sony Pictures Classics are circling around the swashbuckler.

Elsewhere, TF1 Intl. has wrapped deals in 27 territories on Alain Berliner’s “Ma Vie en Rose.” Sony Pictures Classics has all North American, Scandinavian and Australian rights. Gaga has Japan, Telepool acquired German rights, Astral picked up English-speaking Canada and Italy went to Cecchi Gori.

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