×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony, Strand dealing in Toronto

Companies nab rights to 'Secret,' ' Lan Yu,' 'Hush!'

TORONTO — Sony Pictures Classics has struck first blood at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, snagging North American rights to Iranian filmmaker Babak Payami’s “Secret Ballot.”

Payami won best director at the Venice Film Festival. SPC bought the sophomore pic, a light look at the election process in rural Iran, from Paris-based Celluloid Dreams.

Meanwhile, Strand Releasing has acquired domestic rights to two Asian pics: Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan’s “Lan Yu” and Japanese helmer Hashiguchi Ryosuke’s romantic comedy “Hush!”

The few English-language pics for which domestic rights are available have generated interest but no firm deals yet. Acquisitions execs packed the Uptown Theatre on Yonge Street Friday night to watch the world premiere of Rose Troche’s “The Safety of Objects,” starring Glenn Close and Dermot Mulroney, produced by InFilms’ Dorothy Berwin and Killer Films’ Christine Vachon. At the post-pic bash, attorney John Sloss, who is selling the pic, said: “It’s a particular film that needs the right distributor.” A deal is expected by fest’s end.

McConaughey to the rescue

“Thirteen Conversations about One Thing,” directed by Jill Sprecher, also garnered positive reaction Friday night. The William Morris Agency Independent’s Cassian Elwes says acquisitions interest for the pic is high. But rather than buzzing about the content of pic, talk centered on an incident during the screening: a Toronto woman fainted mid-way through the pic and co-star Matthew McConaughey rushed to try to help her. Toronto Sun on Sunday reported the incident on its front page.

Gregor Jordan’s “Buffalo Soldiers” was the hot ticket Saturday night, with the post-party bash at Left Bank, thrown by Film Four and GoodMachine, attracting a room full of top execs, including New Line topper Robert Shaye, Sony Pictures Classics’ Tom Bernard and Michael Barker; Good Machine’s David Linde and James Schamus; and Film Four’s Rebecca Yeldham. Execs from Good Machine, which is selling off the pic’s domestic rights, say they expect a deal by fest’s end.

Domestic rights for another GoodMachine pic, “Lovely and Amazing,” which preemed at Telluride last week, are also still up for grabs. Though a deal seemed imminent with Fox Searchlight, that pact unraveled, with new bidders more likely takers.

“Prozac Nation,” starring Christina Ricci screened Saturday night to decidedly mixed reaction; the pic still seeks a domestic distrib.

In other deals, Orfeo Films has sold a slew of rights, including in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy, to Venice Golden Lion winner, “Monsoon Wedding,” directed Mira Nair. USA Films is distributing domestically.

(David Rooney in Venice contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Photograph by Svetlana Cvetko

    Blitz Films' Eryl Cochran Talks About Indie Film in Challenging Market

    Eryl Cochran heads production & development at production and financing shingle Blitz Films, where she works alongside company founders, filmmakers Nikolay and Sergey Sarkisov. Blitz, launched in 2018, is carving out a niche in the indie world with an eye for emerging talent. Blitz’s slate includes “Show Me What You Got,” directed by cinematographer Svetlana [...]

  • Echo in the Canyon review

    Film Review: ‘Echo in the Canyon’

    Arguably the most sturdily crafted and entertainingly anecdotal documentary of its kind since Denny Tedesco’s “The Wrecking Crew,” a similarly nostalgic celebration of artists who generously contributed to the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation, Andrew Slater’s “Echo in the Canyon” offers a richly evocative and star-studded overview of the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene. [...]

  • Alain Berliner To Direct Cannes-Set ‘Second

    ‘Ma Vie en Rose’s’ Alain Berliner Directs Star Cast in ‘Second to Nun’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Page Three Media and Artemis Productions, which backed “The Danish Girl,” announced in Cannes “Second to Nun,” a new feature from Golden Globe winning director Alain Berliner. Berliner’s decades-ahead-of-its-time “Ma Vie en Rose,” the tale of a young transgender girl with dreams of growing into a mature woman and marrying the boy next door, was [...]

  • Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed

    Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed in Johnny Depp Starring 'Minamata'

    Andrew Levitas has carved out a unique place in the art world, having used his considerable skills across multiple creative platforms. A filmmaker, painter, sculptor, producer, writer, actor and photographer, Levitas is also the founder of Metalwork Pictures, a media production company that develops and produces original content, including his 2014 directorial debut, “Lullaby,” as [...]

  • Oliver Laxe

    Cannes: ‘Fire Will Come’s’ Oliver Laxe on Classicism, Avant-Guard, Egos

    CANNES  —    Spain’s Oliver Laxe returns to Cannes for the third time with“Fire Will Come” (O Que Arde), competing in Un Certain Regard— the first time a Galician-language film is selected for Cannes. He has pedigree. His first time round, in 2010, Laxe snagged a Fipresci nod for his Directors’ Fortnight title “You All [...]

  • Gael Garcia Bernal'La Belle Epoque' premiere,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on Cannes Out of Competition Screening ‘Chicuarotes,’ Hope for Mexico

    CANNES  —  There’s a scene right at the beginning of “Chicuarotes,” Gael García Bernal’s second movie as a director, where Cagalera and Moleteco, two teens from the humble San Gregorio Atlapulco district of Mexico City, board a bus in clown’s makeup, and launch into a clumsy comedic sketch. Maybe because it’s delivered in San Gregorio [...]

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree

    Cannes: Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes 'Vivarium,' Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week. On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content