Pic plays in Venice, Toronto fests

Gallic producer-distrib ARP has snapped up French rights to Wei Te-sheng’s “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale,” screening in competition at the Venice Film Festival next month.

The $25 million epic, produced by John Woo, Terence Chang and Jimmy Huang, and sold by Fortissimo Films is also a Toronto Special Presentation.

Deal was negotiated by Fortissimo exec VP of sales Nicole Mackey and topper Michael J. Werner with ARP co-head Michele Halberstadt.

StudioCanal’s U.K. distribution arm Optimum Releasing nabbed the title this month.

Set in 1930s Formosa (now Taiwan), pic follows the true story of the Wushe Incident, in which aboriginal Seediq tribe warrior Mouna Rudo led his people to rebel against Japan, which occupied the island at the time.

The film is skedded for the largest release ever for a Taiwanese movie in its home territory with more than 100,000 tickets pre-sold for its September bow.

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