TLA tunes into ‘Wind Chime’

Film screened at Berlin Film Festival

PARIS — Kit Hung’s “Soundless Wind Chime,” which screened in the Forum section at the Berlin Film Festival, has been picked up for all rights by U.S. distrib TLA Releasing.

Pic follows Ricky, a Chinese immigrant, and Pascal, who’s from Switzerland, who meet and fall in love in Hong Kong. After Pascal dies in an accident, Ricky goes to Switzerland to remember his lost lover, but is confronted with a confusion of memories — some real, others imagined.

Repped by Paris-based sales company Wide Management, “Soundless” has also been picked up by the U.K.’s Peccadillo, Germany’s Salzgeber and France’s Optimal.

“With the recession, deals for all rights can take up to three months to materialize,” said Anais Clanet, Wide’s international sales topper. “But, on the other hand, there is a wider range of buyers who respond well to targeted, niche slates.”

Deals roll off Wide’s strategy of seeking highly targeted specialty markets for modestly priced movies that can earn festival kudos. Distribs can pick up such titles without risking their shirts, and sometimes build them into breakout hits.

Wide’s strategy was developed long before the economic downturn. It now looks likely to be followed by a growing number of sales companies as financing for not just pick ups but also P&A tightens for many indie distributors.

Another title handled by Wide, Eastern European thriller “Landscape n.2,” was picked up by U.S. indie, Vanguard International Cinema, for TV, VOD and DVD. Since its creation in 1993, Vanguard has released more than 600 films to DVD and holds about 500 titles on digital platforms.

Helmed by Vinko Moderndorfer (“Suburbs”), “Landscape n.2” follows two Slovenian burglars who become fugitives after taking a mysterious document dating to the end of World War II.

Japan’s distrib Only Hearts nabbed two other Wide titles: Ad Bol’s psychological film noir “Blind Spot,” and Stephane Gehami’s “Straight to the Heart,” which screened at the Montreal World Film Fest in the official competition.

Aku Louhimies’ war drama, “Tears of April,” sold to Spain’s Creative Films. Clanet said the company is also in talks with U.S. and Japanese buyers. Set during the 1918 Finnish civil war, pic toplines Samuli Vauramo and Phila Vitala as two lovers struggling to survive.

Gay drama “Give Me Your Hand” sold to the U.K.’s Peccadillo Pictures, France’s Bodega Films and Germany’s Salzgeber.

Wide recently acquired documentary biopic of French anarchist “Louise Michel,” starring French thesp Sylvie Testud, and the restored version of Max Ophuls’ drama “Lola Montes,” which opened the Cannes Classics screening series during last year’s festival.

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