Reel Suspects enjoys its genre Angst By Melanie Goodfellow
French genre specialist Reel Suspects has been racking up sales of titles on its slate. It has sold horror trilogy German Angst to Alamode Film/ Pierrot Le Fou for German-speaking Europe. The portmanteau film combines the work of three horror directors: Jörg Buttgereit (Nekromantik), Andreas Marschall (Tears Of Kali) and Michal Kosakowski (Zero Killed). Craig Goodwill’s Patch Town, which premiered at Palm Springs this year, has been picked up by Kino Lorber for the US and Raven Banner for Canada. The award-winning comedic fairytale revolves around an abandoned child who dreams of being reunited with his adopted mother after he is left in a cabbage patch. Silvio Nacucchi’s Beyond Love, which was launched at Berlin, has been sold to Optimale for France and Ariztical for the US.
Kaleidoscope spies Sevigny
Welcome premieres but VoD release hits a nerve By Melanie Goodfellow
Abel Ferrara’s Welcome To New York is to have its world premiere in Cannes today, and it could be the first and last time the film appears on a big screen in France. Starring Gérard Depardieu in a role inspired by the fall of former IMF chief Dominique StraussKahn, the film is one of the most anticipated of the year and screens to both industry and the public today. However, Wild Bunch has opted to release the film via VoD tonight. It will also be given a dayand-date release in a number of European territories at the same
Welcome To New York
time, via its other distributors. France’s strict media window laws stipulate a four-month window between a cinema and VoD release. The VoD release is proving nearly as controversial as the film itself and Wild Bunch has joined a growing call in the French film industry for a soften-
By Ian Sandwell
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has acquired UK rights to horror film The Last Showing from The Philm Company and SC Films. Written and directed by Phil Hawkins, the plot centres on a projectionist who traps a young couple inside a cinema and creates his own horror film using CCTV cameras. It stars horror icon Robert Englund, alongside Game Of Thrones’ Finn Jones, Emily Berrington (24: Live Another Day), Keith Allen and former Screen International Star of Tomorrow Malachi Kirby. The deal was announced by Richard Benson, SPHE UK marketing director.
Golden Network ties up 3D puppet adventure Golden Network Asia has picked up international rights to Taiwanese 3D puppet animation The Arti: The Adventure Begins, which Warner Bros will release in Taiwan next Chinese New Year. In post-production, the $10m fantasy adventure is produced by Pili International Multimedia and Puppetmotion Entertainment, with backing from Taiwanese retail
chains FamilyMart and 7-Eleven. Pili is the creator of Taiwan’s iconic Pili puppet theatre show, which is broadcast as a top-rating TV series and sells 400,000 units on DVD a month. Pili’s Chris Huang directed the film, while his brother Vincent Huang produced. In the film version, the son and daughter of a family accused of treason are forced to cross the
By Andreas Wiseman
UK sales outfit Kaleidoscope has boarded international rights to US horror Antibirth, set to star Chloe Sevigny and Orange Is The New Black actress Natasha Lyonne. In pre-production and set for a shoot this August, the film centres on a stoner living in a barren desert community who appears to fall pregnant as rumours of aliens begin to spread. Executive producer on the horror title is Jeff Rice (Lone Survivor, End Of Watch). The deal was signed by Kaleidoscope director of international sales and acquisitions Caroline Stern with Traverse Media’s Cole Payne, who is also producing. Payne said: “Writer and director Danny Perez is a special filmmaker the industry should watch. His vision for the film truly reminds me of Cronenberg’s The Fly.”
ing of the laws, for certain pictures that may not get a wide release. “We’re not asking that all films come out in the theatres and on VoD simultaneously,” said Wild Bunch co-chief Brahim Chioua. Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval told a French newspaper last weekend that French exhibitor UGC was putting pressure on cinemas in Belgium not to support a simultaneous release. In response to the allegation, UGC director general Alain Sussfeld said: “The minute a work does not give priority to the cinema theatre, we will not guarantee its diffusion in any territory.”
Sony takes in Last Showing
The Arti: The Adventure Begins
desert with their wooden robot, pursued by a jealous prince with designs to construct a robot army. Co-produced by China’s Toonmax and Zhujiang Film, the film will also receive a wide release in mainland China next year. “We’ve filmed in stereoscopic 3D and used cutting-edge VFX technology to create an original experience and a completely new genre,” explained Puppetmotion general manager Ryan Fu. Chinese puppet theatre originated in south China, but moved to Taiwan where the puppets became bigger and costumes and sets more elaborate. The puppets are more than a metre tall and are manipulated from below by skilled puppet masters. Liz Shackleton
Speleers howls for Metrodome horror flick By Andreas Wiseman
Downton Abbey star Ed Speleers and Shauna Macdonald (Filth) have joined the cast of Paul Hyett’s upcoming horror, Howl, which is being shopped in Cannes by fledgling UK sales outfit Metrodome International. The creature horror, which
6 Screen International at Cannes May 17, 2014
begins shooting on May 27, tells the story of a midnight train that is attacked by a pack of werewolves, forcing a shy ticket inspector to unleash his inner beast and lead his passengers to survive the night. Metrodome sold the film in Cannes to Shooting Stars for the Middle East.
Director Hyett is known for his VFX work on The Woman In Black and The Descent. Producers are Ed King and Martin Gentles for Starchild Productions. Lee Brazier (AV Pictures) is executive producer. Writers are Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler.
Freeman joins Cargo project By Jeremy Kay
Morgan Freeman will star in The Mark Gordon Company and Revelations Entertainment’s Beautiful Jim Key, which Cargo Entertainment is shopping in Cannes. Cargo is financing with Two Ton Films. CAA, which represents Revelations and Freeman, packaged the project and represents US rights with The Gersh Agency. Beautiful Jim Key is based on the true story of showman Dr William Key, who overcame racism and turned his trained horse into a national sensation. Screenwriter Robert Rodat makes his directorial debut and worked with Mark Gordon on The Patriot and Saving Private Ryan. Production starts in early 2015. Gordon produces with Revelations’ Lori McCreary, Cargo’s Marina Grasic and Rogers Hartmann. Two Ton’s Clay Pecorin and Russell Geyser and Michele Wolkoff are executive producers.