'Ballerina,' 'Gigola' among hot product
PARIS — Paris-based sales and production shingle Wide Management has inked a series of sales and pickups, ahead of its trip to the AFM.“Ballerina,” Bertrand Normand’s docu about the dancers of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, has been sold to the U.S.’s First Run Features and Japan’s Cetera. Volker Schlondorff’s “Gigola,” a co-production between France’s Marie Amelie Production and Germany’s Hanneke Van Der Tas through Niko Films, has been picked up by Russia’s Maywin and Benelux’s Cooperative du Nouveau Cinema. Based on the autobiographic novel by Laure Charpentier, the Euros 9 million ($11.5 million) pic will topline Asia Argento as a female gigolo in the 60s, alongside Tcheky Karyo, Anne Parillaud and Marisa Berenson. Shooting will start next January and will be completed by May, in time for the Cannes Film Festival. Horror pic “Unfailing,” Wide’s in-house production, has been nabbed by Japan’s New Select, Singapore’s Musictronic, Brazil’s Flashtar Filmes, Thailand’s J-Bics and Turkey’s D Productions. Pierre Laffargue’s “Black,” starring Gallic thesp Jean Gabin, has been picked up by SPI’s Toute l’Europe de l’Est, Canada’s Evocative Films and Russia’s Cinemax. Christian Poveda’s documentary “La Vida Loca,” filmed among a San Salvador youth gang over three years, has been nabbed by Australia’s Siren Visual, Bulgaria’s Vadi Van Kris and Romania’s CloroFilms. Ad Vitam will release the pic theatrically in France early next year. Lionel Baier’s “Un Autre homme,” set to be released next year in Switzerland by JMH, has been nabbed by France’s Epicentre Films, Canada’s Axia Films, Austria’s Filmladen and Spain’s Eurocine Contraplano. Wide is in talks with buyers from Eastern Europe and North America. Thriller “Cold Blood,” starring Sylvie Verhaeghe and Laura Smet, has been sold to Eastern Europe’s SPI and Japan’s Only Hearts. Wide has also nabbed international distribution rights to Michele Rosier’s “Ah La Libido,” a Gallic “Sex and the City,” which chronicles the single lives of four Parisian women. Pic will be released next February in France by Les Films du Paradoxe. The Euros 2.5 million ($3.2 million) pic will star Audrey Dana, Claude Degliame, Sarah Grappin and Anna Mihalcea. “Ah La Libido” is not a classic romantic comedy,” said Wide Management’s topper Loic Magneron. “It’s very French, both sexy and provocative, but never vulgar.” Wide also picked up international rights to Marc Barrat’s first film, “Orpailleur,” which deals with the gold rush in Guyana. Pic is produced by Mat Films and Richard Magnien, and is backed by Canal Plus and France 3 Cinema. The shingle also nabbed international rights to another politically engaged pic, “Firaaq,” directed by India’s Nandita Das, which screened at Toronto. Pic deals with the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots between Hindus and Muslims. Wide’s eclectic AFM lineup also includes genre pic, “Ultra,” a police thriller about the Russian mafia shot like a film noir, and “That Should Not Be,” helmed by Jean-Paul Jaude, about the environmental crisis. “We used to not travel to the AFM because we figured we had too many arthouse pics,” said Magneron. “But this year, I’m very confident that our slate will attract Asian and American buyers.”
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