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Toronto: Fortissimo Shoots Hal Hartley’s ‘Ned Rifle,’ ‘Theeb’

Hong Kong and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films has picked up international sales rights to Hal Hartley’s comedy drama “Ned Rifle” and to Middle Eastern action film “Theeb.”

“Ned Rifle,” is the final installment in Hartley’s dysfunctional family trilogy which started with “Henry Fool” and “Fay Grim.” It sees a son emerge from the witness protection program with the sole aim of killing his father.

The film, which has its world premiere in Toronto’s Special Presentation section, stars Liam Aiken, Martin Donovan, Aubrey Plaza, Parker Posey, Thomas Jay Ryan and James Urbaniak. Fortissimo has all rights outside North America.

Appearing in Toronto, but premiering in Venice, is recent Fortissimo pickup “Theeb,” the story of a desert trek by a Bedouin youngster and a mysterious British army officer. It was shot by first-time director Naji Abu Nowar in some of the same locations as “Lawrence of Arabia.” Fortissimo handles rights outside the Middle East, U.K. and Switzerland.

Premiering in Toronto’s Discovery section is Fortissimo’s previously announced “Atlantic” about a Moroccan boy who undertakes an ocean journey on a windsurfer in search of a Western woman he has fallen in love with. Directed by Jan-Willem van Ewijk “Atlantic” features non-professional actor Fettah Lamara alongside experienced actors Thekla Reuten (“The American.” “In Bruges”) and the late Mohamed Majd (“Syriana,” “Incendies”).

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