Timbuktu Cannes 2014

Paris-based Le Pacte has closed raft of sales on both "Timbuktu" and "Salt of the Earth"

PARIS– Rolling off a busy Cannes market, Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte has almost sold out a pair of critically-acclaimed official selection players: Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu” and Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribero Salgado’s “Salt of the Earth.”

Acquired last week by Sony Pictures Classics, “Salt of the Earth,” which played in Un Certain Regard and won a Special Prize award, was picked up by Artificial Eye (U.K., Ireland), Respect (Japan), Mantarraya (Latin America), Imovision (Brazil), MCF (Former Yugoslavia), Against Gravity (Poland), Art Fest (Bulgaria), Independenta Film (Romania) and Filmarti (Turkey).

“Salt of the Earth” chronicles the life and work of iconic Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, who has captured major events of our recent history across the world over the last forty years.

“‘Salt of the Earth’ is as beautiful as we thought it would be,” said Camille Neel, Le Pacte’s head of international sales. Neel noted the ICP in New York will soon be hosting the exhibit of Genesis, the latest work of Saldago, while Taschen recently published an eponymous book dedicated to this exhibition.

Docu was co-directed by Sebastiao Salgado’s son, Juliano Ribero Salgado. It was produced by  Decia Films, Amazonas Images, Solares Delle Arti production, in association with Vagalume Filmes, Moondog Prods. Le Pacte will release it in France on Oct. 14.

Another Cannes highlight, “Timbuktu” was snatched up by Artificial Eye (U.K./Ireland), Arsenal (Germany/Austria), Videovision (South Africa), Cine  Colombia (Colombia). Cohen Media Group nabbed U.S. rights last week.

Neel said the film had sparked the interest of buyers in remaining territories.

Pic was previously acquired for Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Trigon), Italy (Academy Two), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Midas), Greece (Weird Wave), Canada (Axia), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Norway (As Fidalgo), Brazil (Imovision) and ex-Yugoslavia (MCF).

“Timbuktu,” lead-produced by Sylvie Pialat at Paris-based Les Films du Worso, depicts the fate of men and women living in a village in Northern Mali which has been taken over by jihadists.

Although “Timbuktu” did not the Palme d’Or, it was one of the best reviewed film playing in competition. Variety’s Jay Weissberg called it “a stunningly shot condemnation of intolerance and its annihilation of diversity, told in a way that clearly denounces without resorting to cardboard perpetrators.”

Le Pacte will handle the French release. At Cannes, the outfit also had Thomas Lilti’s drama “Hyppocrates,” the closing film of Critics’ Week.

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