Telluride Deals — IFC Gets Mountaineer Doc, Sony Classics Nabs MacGregor’s Latest
by Eugene Hernandez
As film industry execs made their way home after a weekend of moviegoing and networking in Telluride, CO, word spread of two deals that were announced over the weekend at the annual Telluride Film Festival. IFC Entertainment chief Jonathan Sehring confirmed that IFC Films has nabbed Kevin MacDonald’s doc “Touching the Void,” while Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker and Tom Bernard revealed that they have acquired David Mackenzie’s “Young Adam.”
IFC Films acquired North American rights to MacDonald’s “Void,” a film based on famed mountaineer Joe Simpson’s best-selling book of the same name. The memoir doc will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Macdonald is an Oscar winner for his 2000 film “One Day in September,” about the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Sony Classics closed its deal for “Adam” with producer Jeremy Thomas. The film, which stars Ewan MacGregor, was adapted by director Mackenzie from the novel of the same name by Alexander Trocchi. “Adam” joins Sony Classics’ large roster of titles that will be showcased at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival which opens on Thursday in Canada.
“Joe Simpson’s memoir is one of the most compelling stories of adventure, survival and friendship ever written,” stated IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring, in a prepared statement, referring to “Void.” “Kevin’s ability to translate this to film is nothing short if remarkable. Having already collaborated on three of Kevin’s previous films, ‘Performance,’ ‘A Brief History of Errol Morris,’ and ‘Howard Hawks,’ we are thrilled to be able to present this amazing work. Kevin is truly one of the most exciting young filmmakers working today.”
In 1985, mountaineer Joe Simpson and Simon Yates sought to climb the west face of Suila Grande in the Peruvian Andes, which had never been climbed before. A disaster struck on the third day and a dangerous rescue was attempted. In “Touching the Void,” the climbers return to the Siula Grande for the first time to tell the story.
A Scottish story set in the 1950’s, “Young Adam” recently won a top award at the Edinburgh Film Festival. It was also a popular film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where it debuted. Sony Classics co-president Tom Bernard told indieWIRE on Monday that the company will decide on a release date for the picture after the movie is screened at the Toronto festival.
“Adam” was one of two surprise sneak previews held this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, the other was Sony Pictures Classics’ upcoming “My Life Without Me,” by Isabel Coixet, which was a hit at the Berlinale.