Protagonist closes Cannes deals

'Snowtown,' 'How I Live Now' among films finding buyers

LONDON — London-based sales outfit Protagonist Pictures enjoyed a strong Cannes market this year, spearheaded by selling Justin Kurzel’s Critics’ Week debut “Snowtown” to Brit distrib Revolver Entertainment.

Pic, for which Protagonist is handling worldwide sales, was a coveted title in the mart.

The U.K. deal was negotiated by Revolver’s Dave Bishop and Protagonist’s Charlotte Van Weede and Ben Roberts.

Prior to the fest, Protagonist licensed the French rights to ARP, while Madman released the pic in Oz last week, which has so far grossed nearly $200,000 from just 16 cinemas in the territory.

“Snowtown” is based on the true events of the “Snowtown Murders” in Australia, which sees a kid from the suburbs find a father figure who condenses all the hatred and grievance inside him, and unleashes it in a cold fury.

Pic preemed at the Adelaide Film Festival, where it snapped up the Audience Award.

It is the first feature pic from Warp Films Australia, and is produced by Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw.

Story, which toplines Lucas Pittaway and Daniel Henshall, is penned by Shaun Grant.

Pic was financed by Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival and Omnilab Media.

Protagonist also pre-sold Kevin Macdonald pic “How I Live Now” to Gaul’s TF1 Intl., which it will release through its distribution arm, UGC.

Pic, set in the near future, follows a 15-year-old girl from New York who is sent to England to stay with cousins.

After a love affair ensues with her cousin, a war breaks out which separates the family.

Story is based on the tome by Meg Rosoff, and script is adapted by scribes Tony Grisoni (“Red Riding Trilogy”) and Jeremy Brock, who penned “The Eagle” and “The Last King of Scotland” for Macdonald.

Pre-Cannes, Alliance Films acquired rights for Canada and Blighty through its U.K. arm Momentum Pictures.

Pic is currently casting and is skedded to lense in Blighty next year.