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‘Controversy’ gets coin

Films Distribution to co-finance Von Trotta film

France’s Films Distribution will co-finance and sell “The Controversy,” from German helmer Margarethe von Trotta. The film centers on Hannah Arendt’s reactions to the trial of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann.

Von Trotta co-scripted with Pamela Katz. “Controversy” is skedded to shoot in English, German and Hebrew in late 2009.

Depending on above-the-line elements, budget will fall between $7 million and $15 million, said Films Distribution partner Nicolas Robert-Brigaud.

The bio of German political theorist Arendt, who’s still read widely in the U.S., will see Films Distribution co-financing and pre-selling. That’s a reprise of the company’s role on Wim Wenders’ “Miso Soup,” for which it helped ink a co-production deal with SSD Korea and a bevy of European producers.

“We have a broad mandate to secure soft money and pre-sales around the world outside Germany, making sure that the partners we bring abroad are satisfied with the artistic package,” Robert-Brigaud said.

The Paris-based company has also signed international rights on a cosmopolitan swathe of titles, only one from France: brothers’ drama “Loins des balles,” from Denis Dercourt (“The Page Turner”).

Films Distribution will also rep prison riot thriller “Cell 211,” directed by Spain’s Daniel Monzon and starring Luis Tosar (“Miami Vice”). Emma Lustres’ Vaca Films is the lead producer.

Two other pickups are Michele Placido’s $12.5 million “Il grande sogno,” which is currently shooting, and Belgian Micha Wald’s “Simon Konianski,” about a son’s troubled trip to the depths of Ukraine to bury his father.