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Beta boosts AFM deals

Oscar entry focuses on East German secret police

BERLIN — Beta Cinema and Tele Munchen Group on Wednesday announced a slew of deals inked at and after the recently wrapped American Film Market.

Beta said it had signed about 30 licensing contracts, including more deals for “The Lives of Others,” Germany’s Academy Award entry for foreign-language film. Beta has sold the pic to South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal, Thailand and Hong Kong, with a deal for Russia imminent.

Beta Cinema’s Dirk Schuerhoff said sale of the pic to China “is likely to be blocked due to censorship issues.”

Beta also sold “Four Minutes,” about a piano teacher and a young prisoner, to Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. A deal for the U.S. is expected to close soon, and talks are ongoing for Mexico.

“Hui Buh — The Goofy Ghost” went to Brazil and Russia, and contracts with other Eastern European countries and Spain are nearly finished.

Meanwhile, Tele Munchen Group has acquired German-language rights to a batch of pics, which will be distribbed in Germany through Concorde Filmverleih. Rights include DVD, video-on-demand, pay TV and mobile devices.

Titles include “In the Valley of Elah,” directed and penned by Paul Haggis, with a cop played by Charlize Theron helping Tommy Lee Jones search for his missing son.

Other pics include remake “Sleuth,” helmed by Kenneth Branagh; “Horsemen,” a thriller with Dennis Quaid and Ziyi Zhang; Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” about soldiers in Baghdad; “Death at a Funeral,” from Frank Oz; and “Make It Happen,” from Bille Woodruff.

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