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Palm grabs ‘Ordeal’

Release expected later this year

PARIS — Palm Pictures has taken North American rights to creepy Belgian shocker “The Ordeal.”

Paris-based international distribber Funny Balloons said Thursday that the $2 million pic also has sold to Tartan in the U.K. and to Germany’s I-On New Media, with more sales likely to Japan and Italy.

Helming debut by Belgian Fabrice du Welz, “Ordeal” stars French thesp Laurent Lucas (“With a Friend Like Harry”) as a singer whose car breaks down in remote woods.

A fave with critics, it recently picked up three honors at France’s Gerardmer Fantasy Film Festival, including the international critics prize and the jury prize, which was shared with American James Wan’s “Saw.”

“Ordeal” was produced by Michael Gentile of Gallic outfit the Film, Vincent Tavier of Belgium’s La Parti Prod. and Eddy Geradon-Luyckx of Luxembourg’s Tarantula in association with Studio Canal.

Studio Canal’s Mars distribution label will release the film in France next month.

Palm will release it Stateside and in Canada later this year.

Funny Balloons was set up a year ago by partners Peter Danner, former sales director for 20th Century Fox in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Jose Dubey, a former Columbia France marketing director; Thomas Renou, ex-acquisitions chief for Gallic cabler Paris Premiere; and Pap Boye, acquisitions exec for rights distrib TVOR.

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