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‘Rust’ pre-sales are robust

Audiard name aids Celluloid's worldwide push

Underscoring the enduring biz clout of director-driven filmmaking, Jacques Audiard’s Marion Cotillard starrer “Rust and Bone” comes into the Cannes competition pre-sold almost throughout the world.

Wild Bunch Germany, Vertigo (Spain), Hopscotch (Australia), Studiocanal (the U.K.) and BIM Distribuzione (Italy) all closed deals. UGC distributes in France.

Other deals include Switzerland (GMH), Portugal (Atalanta), China (DDDream) and Israel (United King). Only Asia is outstanding, Celluloid Dreams’ Hengameh Panahi, “Rust’s” sales agent, said Wednesday, noting that the shingle has multiple offers from Scandinavia.

Sony Pictures Classics closed North America, Latin America and Eastern Europe in late January.

For Panahi, the pre-sales for “Rust” illustrate the value of nursing a director’s career. Audiard’s “The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” which first teamed the helmer, Celluloid Dreams and Why Not Prods., took two years to sell, Panahi said. Audiard’s breakthrough, 2010 Cannes competition player “A Prophet,” sold out on the Croisette in three days.

“Today’s international market has accelerated enormously. Great directors create a network of faithful distributors, easing the sales process,” Panahi said.

Continuing with the same directors, Celluloid Dreams is selling Takeshi Kitano’s “Outrage Beyond,” his sequel to Cannes 2010 competition player “Outrage,” which Celluloid also handled.

Celluloid Dreams is also onboard its fourth film from Marco Bellocchio, “Dormant Beauty,” and its third from French director Fabienne Godet, “A Place on Earth.”

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