German distrib on buying spree after 'Twilight' success
Germany is proving a muscular market for international titles as competition for high-profile films intensifies, with leading independent distrib Concorde Film looking to maintain its top position.The company secured rights to Sally Potter’s “Good Girl” (formerly known as “Bomb”), starring Annette Bening and Elle Fanning, and Richard LaGravenese’s “Beautiful Creatures” ahead of this year’s European Film Market. Concorde has been flexing its muscle since its extraordinary success with “The Twilight Saga” while maintaining a distinct profile that includes mainstream fare such as Steven Soderbergh’s Berlinale screener “Haywire”; James Watkins’ “The Woman in Black”; and Mabrouk El Mechri’s “The Cold Light of Day,” starring Henry Cavill; Boaz Yakin’s Jason Statham starrer “Safe” as well as international arthouse and specialty titles like “The Iron Lady,” which also unspooled in Berlin; Lasse Hallstrom’s “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”; Walter Salles’ “On the Road” and Bille August’s upcoming “Night Train to Lisbon”; and local German productions, such as Felix Fuchssteiner romantic teen fantasy “Rubinrot” (Ruby Red), based on the first novel in Kerstin Gier’s bestselling trilogy; pic is being sold internationally by Concorde parent Tele Muenchen Group. Concorde will continue its exclusive output deal with Summit following the company’s takeover by Lionsgate, according to Concorde managing director Markus Zimmer. “We definitely want to maintain our leading position in the German market,” Zimmer said, adding that the distrib’s wide-ranging slate insures a broad audience. Germany’s international sales companies were also active. The Match Factory closed European and Asian deals for Edwin’s Indonesian Competition screener “Postcards From the Zoo,” which went to Neue Visionen in Germany and Stadtkino Filmverleih Wien in Austria. Match Factory also sealed deals for the pic with Sponge Entertainment in South Korea and Joint Entertainment in Taiwan. Beta Cinema got off to a brisk early start with recent sales for Agnieszka Holland’s Polish Holocaust drama “In Darkness” and Tim Fehlbaum’s theatrical debut “Hell.” “In Darkness,” which is in the running for the foreign-language Oscar, has sold to Good Films in Italy, New Select in Japan, Pure in South Korea, China’s Champs Lis and Conquest in Brazil. Sony Pictures Classics recently released the film in the U.S. “Hell,” an apocalyptic thriller, is distributed in the U.S. by Arc Entertainment and in Blighty by Lionsgate U.K. The pic has also sold to Swift in France, Madman for Australia and New Zealand, Against Gravity in Poland and New Select in Japan. Beta is also expecting to close a number of deals on Doris Doerrie’s Berlinale Special screener “Bliss” and Matthias Glasner’s Competition title “Mercy” in the coming days. Beta Cinema managing director Dirk Schuerhoff described this year’s market as strong. Sonja Mehandjiyska, managing director of sales shingle Global Screen, echoed the sentiment, saying it was better than the previous two years. Global Screen racked up sales for Charlotte Rampling starrer “I, Anna,” which is screening in Berlinale Special, and tyke title “Yoko,” details of which will be announced soon. Launched this year by Bavaria Media and Telepool, Global Screen took over the international sales operations of the previous companies. Mehandjiyska did say this year’s sales were higher for Global Screen than the combined sales in 2011 at Berlin for Bavaria Film Intl. and Telepool. Meanwhile, on the production side, Pandora Film unveiled a slew of international projects, including Fatih Akin’s new pic, “The Cut,” set to star “A Prophet” star Tahar Rahim; and Pia Marais’ South African drama “Layla Fourie.”
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