Japan buyers open wallets
As Berlin wound down, deals continued Thursday to be mopped up. The Japanese in particular showed no signs of flagging in their efforts to secure varied product from the Market and from various fest sections. Others too stepped to the plate.Avex, a video and music group which has emerged as an aggressive distribber, picked up “Grudge 2,” sold by Mandate Pictures. Movie is helmer Takashi Shimizu’s English-lingo remake of his own Japanese hit “Ju-on 2,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Beals. Los Angeles-based sales house Katapult notched up four Japanese deals. Gaga snapped up “Two Sons of Francisco,” its music-themed drama which was Brazil’s foreign-lingo Oscar contender. Cinequanon bought Japanese rights to Katapult’s soccer-themed “Zidane”; Wise Policy bought erotic omnibus film “Destricted”; Avex bought music doc “Screaming Masterpiece.” Fortissimo licensed Berlin competition title “Candy” to Nexo for Italy and ANS for Turkey. “Berlin surprise” film “The Night Listener” was sold by Fortissimo to TV Azteca for Mexico, to Gulf for the UAE and to SPI for Hungary. On big-budget Chinese actioner “Battle of Wits” rights were licensed to United King for Israel and to Prooptiki for Greece and the Balkan territories. Darclight, the genre arm of Oz sales company Arclight Films, licensed horror title “Dark Ride” to Germany’s Square One and to Dutch Filmworks for the Benelux region. It pre-sold “Storm Warning” to Manga for Spain, to Nobel for Scandinavia, to Imagem for Brazil and to Dutch Filmworks for Benelux. Singapore distrib Cathay was an active buyer. It acquired local rights to Berlin competish title “Comedy of Power” from French sales house Wild Bunch. From Germany’s Bavaria it licensed Panorama title “Red Cockatoo” and Competition title “Requiem.” Korean major Showbox was busy with intra-Asian trade. Outfit sold packages containing “Almost Love,” “The Art of Seduction” and “Vampire Cop Ricky” to Vietnam’s Vietnam Media; “The Intimate,” “Ricky” and “Almost Love” to J-Bics for Thailand; and “Marrying the Mafia II” and “Seduction” to Encore for Indonesia. Hong Kong’s Media Asia, which has limited territories on Feng Xiaogang-helmed “The Banquet,” sold the big-budget Chinese film to Imagem for Brazil.