Capella picks up int’l rights to Col’s ‘My Life’

In one of the most high-profile acquisitions since the company’s formation, Capella Intl. has obtained the international distribution rights to Bruce Joel Rubin’s “My Life” from Columbia Pictures.

The film, which marks the directorial debut of “Ghost” screenwriter Rubin, stars Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman. Written by Rubin, the film is being produced by “Ghost” director Jerry Zucker, Rubin and Hunt Lowry.

While financial details of the deal — hammered out by Capella’sOrtwin Freyermuth and David Korda — were not available, sources say Columbia most likely covered more than half the film’s estimated $ 15 million to $ 20 million budget.

According to Freyermuth, Capella went after the rights to “My Life” after acquiring a copy of the script earlier this year.

“We loved it,” Freyermuth said Tuesday. “We contacted Columbia and Jerry Zucker’s reps. It took us a while to convince them. We had to negotiate a deal that was interesting to Columbia.”

As for what Capella can do for the film overseas, Freyermuth said: “This movie requires special hand-ling. It’s what the independents are poised to do — pay special attention to a creative marketing campaign.”

“My Life” is the story of a young exec (Keaton) who, after being diagnosed with a serious illness, makes a videotape of his life for his yet-unborn child and is thrust into a journey of self-discovery.

Although some observers noted that Columbia’s selling the foreign rights might indicate that the studio isn’t confident about the film’s potential performance overseas, Columbia senior VP Mark Gill said: “We’ve always intended to co-finance the picture, even before it went into production in March. We anticipate this will be an important prestige picture.”

While Col plans to release the film Stateside this Christmas, Freyermuth said “My Life” will open internationally several months later.

According to Freyermuth, the movie has been received extremely well by a number of independent distribs, and has been set up with Artisti Associati in Italy, Connexion in Germany, Shochiko-Fuji in Japan and Dong-Bo in South Korea.

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