'Don Giovanni' heads to different parts of Asia
With a slate heavy on biopics, Paris-based distrib Roissy Films has been on a sales roll at Cannes.Carlos Saura’s “Io, Don Giovanni” was nabbed by Korea’s Line Tree, Taiwan’s Zeus and Khan Entertainment, Hong Kong’s Edko Films, Megacom for the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria’s Vadi Van Kris. Sales topper Yohann Comte said he’s in talks with buyers from Canada, Russia and Eastern Europe and has received offers for Australia and Benelux. Set in Venice in 1763, “Giovanni” follows Italo writer Lorenzo da Ponte’s relationship with famed composer Mozart. Budgeted at E8.5 million ($11.6 million), pic is a co-production between Italy’s Lucky Red and Spain’s Lola Films. Another biopic, “Sister Smile,” starring French thesp Cecile de France, has been picked up by Taiwan’s Joint, Hong Kong’s Edko Films, South Korea’s Mars Entertainment, Canada’s Seville Pictures and Switzerland’s Xenix. “Smile” follows a Belgian nun Jeannine Deckers, who became a popular singer in the early 1960s and came out of the closet. Roissy, which is linked to parent company EuropaCorp, has had a stellar year with biopics, including Yolande Moreau starrer “Seraphine” and “Les Plages d’Agnes,” about Gallic filmmaker Agnes Varda. Both pics nabbed U.S. distrib deals. “Amid this difficult market, stories based on true stories, real people or even well-known novels are reassuring to buyers because they have built-in marketing,” said Comte. Roissy’s slate also includes Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji’s “Son of Babylon.” Pic is in post-production.