Sales agent rolls out deals on durable sales hits

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pointing to renewed sales life on key durable titles, Buenos Aires-based FilmSharks Intl. has closed a slew of recent major territory sales on titles it brought onto the market as far back as 2008.

Zombie caper “Evil in the Time of Heroes,” featuring Billy Zane, first seen in Greece in 2009, was sold this week to Japan’s Zazie Films.

“Evil” has also closed Germany and Austria with Anolis Films. A U.S. deal is under negotiation, FilmShark’s founder Guido Rud said Thursday at the Rio festival’s Rio Market.

Evergreen sales title “Letters to Father Jacob” was acquired last week by Australia’s Rialto Distribution and Katholisches Filmwerk for Germany and Austria. France is now under negotiations, Rud said.

Another long-running FilmSharks sales hit, “A Boyfriend for my Wife,” produced by Argentina’s Disney-backed Patogonik, has sealed Russia with Dalmatian Film.

Meanwhile, psycho-thriller “American Venus,” starring Rebecca De Mornay, was recently sold to U.K.’s High Fliers Films.

In South Korea, Chris Lee Pics. Intl. has acquired Mexican melodrama “Tear This Heart Out,” while Kim Media has taken Paula Hernandez’s “Rain,” which world preemed in 2008; Spain’s Canal Plus has picked up Jonathan Parker’s “Untitled,” starring Adam Goldberg, which has already sold to more than 30 territories.

Of newer titles, controversial Chinese toon pic “Piercing 1″ has been bought by Portuguese pubcaster RTP Portugal and Tren Distribution for Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.

“When there is not much at the market, buyers are coming back to films that they wanted to buy before, but — due to the crisis — were not able to do so,” Rud said in Rio.

Also, a recovering market is encouraging distributors to set up new shingles. Tren was launched this July by Manuel Garcia, former manager of Argentine distrib 791 Cine.

Tren also bought German action-thriller “Snowman’s Land” and Rotterdam Tiger winner “Finisterrae,” both sold by FilmSharks.

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