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Indie acquisitions pick up speed

Alliance, Stratosphere, M'Max busy in second week

As the Cannes fest and market wind down, acquisitions are gaining speed, with Stratosphere Entertainment nabbing North American rights to “Xiu Xiu” from Good Machine Intl., while Alliance Communications has picked up Canadian rights to “Les Enfants du Siecle” and “Serial Lover” from Le Studio Canal Plus.

Miramax Films also has been busy, taking North American and U.K. rights to Glen Goei’s “Forever Fever” from Beyond Films. Oz’s Beyond, which recently acquired worldwide rights (excluding Singapore and Australia) to the Singapore disco pic, licensed all rights for France to Metropolitan Films.

In addition, CQN Releasing, new division of Cinequanon Pictures Intl., has acquired “Secrets of the Heart” and “Martin (Hache)” from Sogepaq.

The Alliance deal for the Diane Kurys-helmed Juliette Binoche-starrer “Enfants” is the latest example of its renewed interest in handling French-lingo pics in Canada, following the recent return of their distribution license in Quebec. Dark comedy “Serial Lover” is a first feature from James Huth.

“Xiu Xiu,” the directing debut of actress Joan Chen, marks the first Cannes acquisition for Stratosphere. The English-language “Fever” also marks the directing debut of Singapore actor Goei, who also penned the screenplay.

CQN was established to acquire specialty and foreign-lingo pics for theatrical release in the U.S. The films will be released through its exclusive output deal with Seventh Art Releasing. Montxo Armendariz wrote and helmed “Secrets,” while Adolfo Aristarain helmed “Martin.”

– Chris Petrikin, Michael Williams, Timothy M. Gray

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