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Miramax takes ‘Pretty’ rights

Studio cleans up 'Dirty' deal

MILAN — Miramax Films has taken worldwide rights on Stephen Frears’ “Dirty Pretty Things,” at the Mifed film, TV and multimedia mart.

The $7 million pic, which starts shooting next week, marks the English-language debut of “Amelie” star Audrey Tautou. Project was developed by BBC Films, which is retaining U.K. TV rights.

Scripted by Steve Knight (one of the creators of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) and produced by “Millionaire” outfit Celador, the dark thriller is set among the immigrant workers who staff London’s ritzy establishments.

Chewitil Ejiofor plays a Nigerian porter who stumbles across a murder in the posh West End hotel where he works and sets about solving the crime with the help of a Turkish chambermaid (Tautou) and a Chinese prostitute. Sophie Okonedo and Sergio Lopez co-star.

Miramax boarded the project with an aggressive bid last week. BBC Films had previously been in negotiations with the Film Consortium to co-finance the pic.

Col faces ‘Fear’

Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures has taken worldwide rights to the thriller “Fear.com.”

Produced by Moshe Diamant, Jan Fantl and Frank Hubner of the Cologne-based production fund Apollo Media, pic was directed by Bill Malone and stars Stephen Rea, Natascha McElhone and Stephen Dorff.

Domestic distribution deal is the second to be announced by Apollo this month. Earlier in October, company announced that Paramount had taken domestic rights to Christian Duguay’s “The Extremists.” Par has since taken rights for Germany, the U.K. and Australia on the action thriller.

German producer Werner Koenig lost his life late last year while scouting for locations for the film. Apollo Media financed the $40 million pic, which stars Devon Sawa and Rufus Sewell.

Meanwhile, L.A.-based Pandora said Monday it had sold German and Japanese rights to two Mifed films, “White Oleander” and “A Walk to Remember.” Films went to Gaga and Tobis, respectively. Further deals are pending in the U.K.

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