Weinsteins catch ‘Roman Polanski’

Company lands international rights to doc

“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” the untold story of the scandal that caused the Polish –born director to flee America, sold Friday night to Weinstein Co. for all international rights. Deal, which excludes U.S., Canada and UK television, is understood to be for low six figures.

Domestic rights to the film directed by Marina Zenovich are still in play. “Wanted and Desired” is executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and Randy Wooten, and produced by Jaffrey Levy-Hinte and Lila Yacoub. Zenovich wrote the Sundance doc competition title with Joe Bini and P.G. Morgan.

The film screened well Friday at its world premiere for critics and buyers alike and inspired multiple bids; Sony Pictures Classics dropped out when the price got too high. Focus Features, which released Polanski’s Oscar-winning “The Pianist,” and Weinstein Co. are still in the domestic hunt.

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The doc market has been both glutted and underperforming of late; buyers are loathe to plunk down too much. But Zenovich’s long-in-the-works reporting of the Polanski scandal, which reveals that justice may not have been served when Polanski was convicted of unlawful intercourse with a minor, will certainly generate media coverage. The director served 42 days in prison and then fled the U.S. to go into 30-year exile. Zenovich reopens the case, talks for the first time to Polanski attorney Douglas Dalton and many others.

Michal Podell, senior VP business legal affairs and acquisitions, negotiated for The Weinstein Co. Josh Braun and Kevin Iwashina of Submarine Entertainment, along with John Sloss of Cinetic Media, are representing the filmmakers.

—Winter Miller contributed to this story.