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Wide mops up post-AFM deals

'Should Not Be' goes to four territories

French production and sales company Wide Management has closed a large number of foreign deals, proving that the international sales biz is still alive and kicking.

Organic food-themed docu-feature “That Should Not Be” has gone to Japan’s Uplink, Spain’s Creative Films and Melimedias for Benelux and Switzerland.

One of Wide’s best-selling titles, “Should Not Be” has nabbed 70,000 admissions — around $560,000 — in France.

The film’s sales are among a score or more clinched on Wide titles since November’s American Film Market.

They underscore a fertile market for Wide’s main product line: low-budget, accessible niche films, often enjoying large critical support and festival profile.

In further sales highlights, Wide has licensed “Ex Drummer” to new Stateside distributor Palisades/Tartan.

Another U.S. distrib Synchronized has closed DVD distribution on 14 Wide titles.

Wide has licensed “I Dreamt Under Water” to Germany’s Pro-Fun Media, which plans an August theatrical release.

“Francaise” has been sold to Germany’s Mitosfilm and Benelux’s Cooperative Nouveau Cinema, and “Three Wise Men” to Spain’s Aquelarre and France’s Epicentre Films, while Germany’s Mouna has bought “Ballerina” and “Return to Goree.”

Licensing accords on “Water” and “Should Not Be” were struck over Christmas.

Meanwhile, Wide has picked up two new titles for its early 2009 sales slate: Ad Bol’s psychological thriller “Blindspot,” and “14-18 Noise and Fury,” a World War I docu feature, using restored, colorized and newly sound-mixed footage.

Most Wide films are budgeted under $2.8 million said Wide general manager Loic Magneron. Many have co-production coin, or subsidy support, allowing them to move into profit without commanding huge prices from distributors.

“If you make huge deals, your distributors can lose money. Our business model must be our distributors’ too,” Magneron added.

Meanwhile, Volker Schlondorff is no longer attached to direct “Gigola,” which Wide is selling in foreign markets.

The film, which is based on an autobiographical novel by Laure Charpentier about a femme gigolo in 1960s Paris, will now be written and directed by Charpentier herself.

Asia Argento, whom Schlondorff brought to the project, has been replaced by Vahina Giocante.

According to Magneron, the project’s multiple screenwriters had found difficulty in adapting Charpentier’s singular life-tale, and moneys meant to be raised against Schlondorff’s involvement never materialized. Budget is Euros7.5 million ($10.0 million).

“Gigola” is a co-production between France’s Marie-Amelie Production and Germany’s Nikovantastic.

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