Fortissimo scores firsts

Co. embracing wider range of English-lingo product

It’s been a Cannes of firsts for Fortissimo Films.

The Hong Kong and Amsterdam-based sales company has sold movies to several distribs it has never done business with before.

That reflects the fact that the company is in the midst of diversifying from its traditional core biz of Asian fare to embrace a wider range of English-lingo product.

“This has been our best market ever in terms of aggregate sales volume,” said co-topper Michael J. Werner.

Fortissimo has struck its first deal with Svensk in Scandinavia for the Alan Rickman pic “Snow Cake” and the Robin Williams vehicle “The Night Listener.”

“Night Listener” also went to Videa in Italy, Monolith in Poland and Icon in the U.K. — all distribs buying from Fortissimo for the first time.

Filmax in Spain was another new buyer, picking up Tsui Hark’s upcoming Venice opener “Seven Swords.”

X-Verlieh bought U.S. docu “Mad Hot Ballroom” for Germany. Deals are also being closed for the Paramount Classics pic in Scandi, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.

Roadshow in Greece took a big package including “Snow Cake” and Berlinale winner “U-Carmen.”

“U-Carmen” had no sales agent at Berlin and therefore had sealed few distribution deals coming into Cannes. Fortissimo sold the pic to a slew of territories, including Dendy in Australia and A-Film in Benelux.

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