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Frears’ ‘Philomena’ sells to major territories

Pathe Intl. adds sales for Gans' 'Beauty,' Thompson's 'Saint Tropez'

PARIS

Pathe Intl., one of Europe’s leading sales companies, has kick-started sales on Stephen Frears’ “Philomena” while closing deals on the rest of its AFM slate.

A market debut, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and now shooting, “Philomena” closed Germany (Square One), Italy (Lucky Red), Scandinavia (Scanbox) and Australia (Hopscotch).

The bittersweet tale about a woman’s search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption also sold to Benelux (Paradiso), Czech Republic (AQS), Israel (Shani) and the former Yugoslavia (MCF).

Pathe distributes in the U.K. and France.

“We were very pleased the script was so well received: It is a compelling narrative of human love and loss that ultimately celebrates life,” said Muriel Sauzay, Pathe’s deputy managing director of international sales.

“Philomena” adds to Pathe’s mix of director-driven titles — think Christophe Gans’ “Beauty and the Beast,” which went into production on Monday — and a burgeoning line in thrillers.

Both film types command dedicated networks of distributors and core audiences, whether auteur fans or more testosterone-oriented demos.

Of key pre-sales, Concorde, a weighty German indie, acquired “Beauty and the Beast,” with Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux. Pic has already pre-sold widely.

It Happened in Saint Tropez,” a jet-set comedy from Daniele Thompson (“Change of Plans”) that stars Monica Bellucci and Kad Merad, closed Italy (Made in Italy) after selling to CIS (Paradise) at Toronto.

Another debut, “Diversity: Rise,” featuring Brit dance troupe phenom Diversity, closed five territories.

Already licensed to many major territories, Pathe’s thrillers also clicked.

Eran RiklisStephen Dorff starrer “Zaytoun,” which sees its U.S. preem Wednesday at the AFI Fest, added the Netherlands (A-Film), India (Pictureworks) and the U.K. (Artificial Eye).

Denis Villeneuve’s psychological thriller “An Enemy” closed India (Pictureworks) and Singapore (Shaw); first-timer Omid Nooshin’s kinetic “Last Passenger,” a Cohen Media pickup in the U.S., sold to Australia (Umbrella).

Anchor Bay bought Pathe and WWE’s “No One Lives,” which stars Luke Evans, for North America, U.K. and Australia. Fine Films closed Japan.

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