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Jia’s ‘Touch of Sin’ Ignites Biz

Title well-received at Cannes

Jia Zhangke’s Palme d’Or contender “A Touch of Sin,” the critics’ favorite among Cannes competition films through Saturday, is igniting more than a touch of Riviera sales business.

Five territories have been sold and another 16 are under discussion or in the final stages of negotiation, sales company MK2 announced Sunday on the Croisette.

Territories closed are France (Ad Vitam), the U.K. (Arrow, continuing a long relationship with MK2), Espagne (Golem), Portugal (Midas Filmes) and Canada (FilmsWeLike).

Japanese co-producer Bitters End will release in Japan. Chinese producers the Beijing-based Xstream Pictures and the Shanghai Film Group Corporation plan a release this fall in China.

Countries under discussion or negotiation take in the U.S., Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux, Switzerland, South Korea, Russia, Greece, Brazil, Turkey and former-Yugoslavia.

Helmed by multi-prized Jia Zhangke (“24 City,” “Platform,” Venice Golden Lion winner “Still Life”), the four-part “Sin,” based on true stories, delivers a boldly hard-hitting vision of a contempo China slowly consumed by violence.

It is also something of a departure for Jia, mixing his style and that of Chinese “wuxia” martial hero films, said Juliette Schrameck, MK2 sales and acquisitions head.

“There are very Tarantino-esque moments but it’s still a Jia film, with one of the most beautiful works of cinematography you can imagine,” she added.

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