The deal, announced at Cannes, comes four months after “Metro Manila” won the audience award for world cinema at Sundance. Fox International Prods. acquired remake rights on the opening day of Cannes.
“Metro Manila” was directed by Ellis and Mathilde Charpentier and written by Ellis and Frankie E. Flowers. Ellis directed the film in Tagalog — a language he doesn’t speak.
The story centers on a poor farmer who leads his family out of their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines for a brighter future in Manila. In order to survive he must take the dangerous job of driving armored transports.
Paladin’s Mark Urman and 108’s Abhi Rastogi negotiated the deal with Abigail Walsh of Independent, which is handling international sales, and Jessica Lacy of ICM partners, which represents Ellis.
Independent has also sold “Metro Manila” in France (Haut et Court),Spain (Festival Films), Scandinavia (NonStop), Japan (New Selects), Middle East (Front Row), Latin America (HBO), Hungary (Vertigo), Greece (Seven Group), Ex Yugoslavia (Cinemania), Singapore (indies Entertainment), and the Philippines (Captive).