The 37th version of the Toronto International Film Festival lived up to its reputation as a strong sales venue for indie-financed pics — even though there’s no official market set up for films, unlike fests in Berlin and Cannes.
TIFF announced Saturday that nearly 40 titles had sold, including 29 to U.S. distribs. Justin Cutler, senior manager of TIFF’s sales and industry office, said, “It had been a particularly robust year for sales and we’re happy that the Festival’s official selection will reach film lovers across the world.”
“The Place Beyond the Pines” remained the largest deal with Focus paying an estimated $3 million for U.S. distribution rights. Sales during the fest’s final three days included Atiq Rahimi’s war drama “The Patience Stone” to Sony Classics; Samuel Goldwyn acquired Michael McGowan’s romancer “Still”; Magnolia snagged North American rights to Ramaa Mosley’s fantasy-satire “The Brass Teapot”; and Cinedigm bought horror project “Come Out and Play.”
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HBO, in its second TIFF deal, bought U.S. television rights Friday to Liz Garbus’ Marilyn Monroe vehicle “Love, Marilyn,” beating out bids from Sony Pictures Classics, IFC Films and Magnolia Pictures. It had earlier acquired Tom Donahue’s doc “Casting By.”
Other key titles sold — Joss Whedon’s ”Much Ado About Nothing,” Stuart Blumberg’s ”Thanks for Sharing,” Robert Pulcini-Shari Springer Berman’s ”Imogene,” Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium,” Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha,” Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers,” Josh Boone’s “Writers,” Scott McGehee-David Siegel’s “What Maisie Knew,” Billy Bob Thornton’s “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” and Mike Newell’s “Great Expectations.”
FilmDistrict did not buy any finished films but bought U.S. rights to Spike Lee’s upcoming remake of “Oldboy.”
Unsold titles as of Sunday included Brian De Palma’s “Passion,” Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder,” Rola Nashef’s “Detroit Unleaded,” Deepa Mehta’s “Midnight’s Children,” Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa” and Ariel Vromen’s “The Iceman.”
Lionsgate and Alliance Films announced a new multiyear output agreement covering Spain including the final “Twilight” film and the next three “Hunger Games” pics. And Exclusive Media launched a U.S. distribution and acquisitions arm dubbed Exclusive Releasing with Scott Pascucci and Matt Brodlie.
The fest also saw array of financing deals and casting attachments announced, often with international rights up for sale including:
— PalmStar Capital attached Renee Zellweger to make her directorial debut with “4 1/2 Minutes,” a comedy in which she’ll star opposite Johnny Knoxville.
— Red Granite attached Juno Temple, Joe Anderson and Kelli Garner to join Daniel Radcliffe in Alexandre Aja’s “Horns.”
— Merced Media Partners, Palmstar Media Capital and Hyde Park Entertainment came on board to finance Likely Story’s crime drama “Every Secret Thing,” starring Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks.
— Tom Wilkinson has joined the thriller “Felony” opposite Joel Edgerton with production starting in late October.
— Worldview Entertainment came on board to finance and produce David Gordon Green’s drama “Joe,” starring Nicolas Cage. It also will finance and produce Ti West’s horror thriller, “The Sacrament.”
— Emmett / Furla Films acquired feature rights to action thriller “Fair Trade” from Alcon with Open Road board for U.S. distribution.
— Demarest Films came on board to co-finance and co-produce spy thriller “A Most Wanted Man” from director Anton Corbijn with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright starring.
— Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment and Arenamedia are teaming to produce “The Shipkiller,” based on Justin Scott’s revenge thriller.