Wild Bunch rolls out powerful slate

'Passion,' 'Ties,' 'Motors' among multiple sales hits

CANNES — Paris-based Euro mini-major Wild Bunch has struck scores of mid-week sales on a powerful Cannes slate that includes Brian De Palma’s “Passion,” Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties” and three competition contenders — “Beyond the Hills,” “The Angel’s Share” and “Holy Motors” — among 16 titles in all Cannes’ sections.

Starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, of key new deals, “Passion” sold Scandinavia (Scanbox), Russia (Top Film) and Playarte (Brazil). Only the U.K. is pending of Wild Bunch-sold territories, Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval said Thursday.

Starring Clive Owen and Billy Crudup, Canet’s “Blood Ties” closed mid-week with Scandinavia’s Scanbox, Russia’s Top Film, Lumiere for Benelux, Switzerland’s Frenetic and Greece’s Village Roadshow.

Also new, Fox has taken U.S. rights to Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language 3D.” Carmen bought Russia.

On Vincenzo Natali’s “Haunter,” Wild Bunch has closed the U.K. (Studiocanal), France (Le Pacte/Wild Side), Russia (CP Digital) and Latin America (Gussi).

The dozens of new deals are all the more remarkable for having being struck since Tuesday.

“It has been a very, very average Cannes for Wild Bunch,” Maraval joked, implying, given Wild Bunch’s Cannes track record, that it has been a very good market indeed.

Reasons abound.

Wild Bunch offers one of — if not the — biggest of upscale director-driven slates on the international market, with multiple genre auteur movies.

Faithful to directors through thick and thin, the Paris-based company reps revered directors commanding loyal network of distributors, including Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, James Gray and Cristian Mungiu.

Selling Japan Friday to Longride, Loach’s “Angel’s Share” is now practically sold out, Maraval said.

Mungiu’s exorcism drama “Beyond the Hills” added Japan (Magic Hour/Comstock) mid-week.

Leo Carax’s “Holy Motors,” a Cannes critical favorite, clinched the U.K. (Artificial Eye) and Australia (Icon). Only Italy is still pending, Maraval said.

The Untitled James Gray Project has sold France (Wild Bunch), Italy (Bim), Latin America (Cine Video y TV) and Benelux (Lumiere).

As a sales agent and agile co-financier, Wild Bunch is also growing film-by-film sales relations with many of France’s biggest indie-producers: “The Artist” producer Thomas Langman at La Petite Reine; Alain Attal’s Les Productions du Tresor, the producer of “Blood Ties”; Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Stone Angels; and Said Ben Said’s SBS Productions, which produced and split territorial sales on “Passion.”

Playing Un Certain Regard, Le Pogam’s “Horses of God,” from Nabil Ayouch, has been picked up for Spain by Alta.

In further deals, NonStop (Scandinavia) and Wild Bunch Benelux have snapped up “Broken,” a hot Croisette ticket from Brit Rufus Norris.

Lou Ye’s “Mystery,” in Un Certain Regard, closed Japan (Uplink), the U.K. (Artificial Eye) and Benelux (Wild Bunch Benelux). The U.K.’s Soda has bought Un Certain Regard closer “Renoir.”

Maraval reported 103 Cannes sales deals “at a first estimate.” Final total could be considerably more.