BIM buys Cannes pics on acquisition hunt

Fest winner 'Man' picked up by Italian distrib

CANNES — Italian arthouse player BIM Distribuzione continued a buying spree on Cannes titles that kicked off before the event by closing deals on seven more films, including Grand Jury Prize winner “The Man Without a Past,” by Aki Kaurismaki.

BIM topper Valerio De Paolis picked up the Finnish comedy-drama from Bavaria Film Intl. Acquisition deals also were concluded with Mercure Distribution on Nicolas Philibert’s documentary “To Be and To Have,” screening in an out-of-competition slot; and on hot market title “L’Auberge Espagnole” by Cedric Klapisch from Wild Bunch.

Clearly benefiting from a fattened purse after scoring major box office hits with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Kandahar” and “Amelie,” BIM continued its acquisitions frenzy by closing a deal on the Croisette for a three-title package from FilmFour.

This included jury member Walter Salles’ biopic on the young Che Guevara, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which starts shooting in the fall with Gael Garcia Bernal (“Y Tu Mama Tambien”) in the lead; Conor McPherson’s “The Actors,” with Michael Caine, Miranda Richardson and Michael Gambon, which goes out via Miramax in the U.S.; and Shane Meadows’ family saga “Once Upon a Time in the Midlands,” which bowed in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes.

BIM also closed a deal with HBO Films for Sundance fest audience award winner “Real Women Have Curves.”

The aquisitions add to a full slate of Cannes titles for BIM, which includes Atom Egoyan’s “Ararat,” Amos Gitai’s “Kedma,” Abbas Kiarostami’s “10,” Robert Guediguian’s “Marie-Jo and Her 2 Loves,” Ken Loach’s “Sweet Sixteen” and Gaspar Noe’s controversial “Irreversible,” which the distrib opened in Italy day-and-date with its Cannes bow.