Canal Plus picks up 7 pics

Pay TV group pacts with Zoetrope for worldwide rights

CANNES — French pay TV group Canal Plus has pacted with Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Studios to pick up worldwide rights outside North America to a seven-title package of Zoetrope-controlled pics.

The 12-year deal was signed between Zoetrope and Canal Plus Image Intl., the audiovisual rights arm of the French group. The pact was announced by Stephane Sperry, exec VP of programs and business development for the Canal Plus subsidiaries division.

The titles involved range from Abel Gance’s 1927 masterpiece “Napoleon” to Coppola’s Oscar-winning “Apocalypse Now.”

For Coppola, the deal marks the latest step in an expanding relationship with the French giant. Studio Canal Plus, the group’s film production company, co-produced Sofia Coppola’s debut helming effort, “The Virgin Suicides,” which is premiering in Directors Fortnight here in Cannes.

“Francis Ford Coppola and American Zoetrope Studios are two names that have become synonymous with cinematic excellence, and we are proud to be representing the high-profile films in the global market place,” said Sperry.

Titles involved are:

  • Coppola-directed “The Outsiders,” based on the S.E. Hinton novel about a teenage gang’s conflict with society.

  • Wim Wenders’ 1982 neo-noir “Hammett,” which Coppola executive produced.

  • Coppola’s 1982 “One From the Heart,” which he wrote and directed.

  • Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel’s 1982 debut directorial pic “The Escape Artist.”

  • Coppola’s 1974 thriller “The Conversation,” which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes.

  • Coppola’s Vietnam War epic “Apocalypse Now.”

  • The restored version of Abel Gance’s mammoth 1927 opus “Napoleon.”

For the next 12 years, the Zoetrope titles will be part of one of the largest film libraries in the world.

Canal Plus Image Intl. now has rights to some 5,000 films, including such hits as “Terminator 2,” “Basic Instinct,” “Belle de Jour,” “The Elephant Man” and “The Graduate.”