SPC succeeds on ‘Quitting,’ ‘Pauline’

Co. also in final negotiations for Rohmer's 'Lady'

CANNES — Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S., Australia and New Zealand distribution rights to Zhang Yang’s “Quitting,” from Fortissimo Film Sales.

SPC is also in final negotiations on North American rights to Eric Rohmer’s $5.3 million “L’Anglaise et le duc” (The Lady and the Duke), from Pathe Intl.

In addition, the company has picked up from TF1 Intl. all English-language territories, including North America and Scandinavia, on Lieven Debrauwer’s low-budget Directors Fortnight entry “Pauline and Paulette.”

North American rights to “Quitting,” from Dutch-based firm Fortissimo, also went to Sony.

Chinese star

“Quitting” is a drama based on true events about one of China’s leading actors of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“It is a pleasure to continue to be in business with Zhang Yang, one of China’s major talents, and his producing partner, Peter Loehr,” SPC’s co-prexy Michael Barker said.

Rohmer’s 3-D “The Lady and the Duke” was a surprise absentee from the official selection at the Cannes Intl. Film Festival this year, and is being tipped for the Venice fest. The pic, based on the memoirs of an English woman in Paris at the time of the French Revolution, stars Lucy Russell, Jean-Claude Dreyfus and Francois Marthouret.

“Lady and the Duke” was co-produced by Rohmer’s La Compagnie Eric Rohmer with Pathe Image.

Building on buzz

TF1 Intl. said the Flemish-language “Pauline and Paulette,” one of Cannes’ more unlikely buzz pics, also has sold to Japan’s Nikkatsu and to Remstar for French-speaking Canada.

Other territories in negotiation include Italy, Spain and Germany.

Pic by first-time helmer Debrauwer, describes the relationship between a 75-year-old woman, with the mental age of a child, and her younger sister.