In recent years, the Cannes press corps has been so captivated by Michael Moore, Helen of Troy, CGI sharks and Terminators, it’s been hard for fledgling indie players to get attention.
But that wasn’t a problem for Harvey and Bob Weinstein this year.
Their Weinstein Company hit the Croisette like a conquering army, issuing a steady stream of announcements of deals and acquisitions, outshining such rivals as New Line and HBO’s freshly minted Picturehouse label and U’s expanded Rogue division.
After a week of whisperings that Harvey and Bob Weinsteins’ financing was (or wasn’t) coming together for their new venture, the brothers held a midnight press conference May 19, disclosing that Goldman Sachs had come onboard to back their venture.
Standing in black tie at the Amfar gala at the Moulin de Mougins restaurant, the Weinsteins said Goldman Sachs will provide an unspecified investment and financing commitment. They also touted a slate that includes such pics as “Young Hannibal,” the prequel to the Hannibal Lecter series, and “Decameron,” directed by David Leland and starring Hayden Christensen, both produced by Dino de Laurentiis; partnered with Rainbow Media.
They also revealed a new strategic relationship with Tarak Ben Ammar and preemed their solo venture’sfirst pic, “Wolf Creek.”
The Weinsteins, who broke into the business by acquiring “The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball” on a trip to Cannes in 1981, have always thrived amid the fest cacophony.
They couldn’t have picked a better year to stage a comeback.
There was a showmanship vacuum at this year’s fest, with its muted studio presence and lackluster acquisitions market, and the Weinsteins were glad to fill it.