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Cannes 2016 Film Acquisition Roundup: Every Deal Coming Out Of The Film Festival

Cannes 2016 Film Acquisition Roundup: Every Deal Coming Out Of The Film Festival


With the deals flying fast and furious at Cannes Film Festival, we’ll be updating every big pickup and snappy deal right here. (Newest acquisitions will be updated on the top.)

Need more acquisitions info? Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Film Acquisition Rundown to find out what films got new homes and are coming to a theater or streaming platform near you.

The Orchard has announced that the company has acquired all North American rights to Academy Award-nominee Oren Moverman’s upcoming film “The Dinner.” Moverman wrote the screenplay, which is based on the popular Herman Koch novel of the same name. The film stars Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny and Adepero Oduye. The Orchard plans a fall release for the film.

– Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all rights in North America and Latin America to Michael Dudok de Wit’s “The Red Turtle,” which premiered in Un Certain Regard this week. Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, ‘The Red Turtle’ recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.”

– Another big buy for Amazon. The streaming giant has picked up the rights for Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhardi’s “The Salesman.” Amazon will partner on the domestic release of the film with Cohen Media Group. The film is playing in competition at Cannes.   The news was first reported by Deadline.

– Adopt
Films has acquired all U.S. rights from The Match Factory to Eran Kolirin’s “Beyond the Mountains and Hills,” Israel’s Official Selection in this year’s
ongoing Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Adopt is planning a broad theatrical release for the film in the first quarter of 2017.

– Cohen Media Group has acquired all English-speaking North American distribution rights to “Journey Through French Cinema,” master director Bertrand Tavernier’s feature documentary, which provides a sweeping survey of the history of French film from the 1930’s –1970’s. The film had its world premiere at Cannes on May 16. It will be released in U.S. and Canadian theaters later this year.

– Sundance Selects has picked up the U.S. rights for Ken Loach’s very well-received Cannes premiere, “I, Daniel Blake.” The film is screening in competition at the festival. 

– GKids has purchased all North American rights to the animated feature “The Girl Without Hands” after the film’s premiere screening at Cannes. The film is billed as “an adult fairytale based on a story by the Brothers Grimm. It’s directed by Sébastien Laudenbach from his own script and produced by Les Films Sauvages. The story is set in hard times, with a miller selling his daughter to the Devil. Protected by her purity, she escapes from the Devil who, in revenge, deprives her of her hands.” Fun! The news was first reported by Variety.

– Haut et Court has picked up French rights to Yorgos Lanthimos’ new project “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” which reteams him with his “Lobster” star Colin Farrell. A24 picked up the domestic rights on the first day of the Cannes market. The film will start shooting this August. 

– Sony Pictures Classics has have acquired all rights in North America and Latin America to “Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade’s latest, which is playing in competition at Cannes. The film stars Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller and follows “practical joker Winfried (Simonischek) [who] disguises himself as flashy “Toni Erdmann” to get busy Ines’ (Hüller) attention and change her corporate lifestyle. The father-daughter challenge reaches absurd proportions until Ines begins to see that her eccentric father deserves a place in her life.” 

– Earlier this week, STX Entertainment made big waves by plunking down a reported $9 million for Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” then the biggest deal out of Cannes, and now they’ve upped that considerably for another big, big buy. The outfit has apparently purchased the international rights for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” for a deal that might be worth about $50 million. If that number holds, it could be a record for Cannes. The news was first reported by Deadline, who’ve got the full (and kind of wild) story.

– Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights for Alain Guiraudie’s “Staying Vertical,” which premiered in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The dark comedy follows filmmaker Leo “who in the process of finishing his screenplay in a series of unexpected sexual situations that leave him in some very uncomfortable but humorous scenarios.” Strand previously released Guiraudie’s critically acclaimed and commercial success, “Stranger By the Lake,” which also premiered as an official selection in the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

– Magnolia Pictures’ Magnet Releasing has picked up the North American rights to Christopher Smith’s “Detour,” a thriller that recently premiered at Tribeca. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Emory Cohen and Bel Powley in “a stylized noir tale about a college student whose attempts for revenge don’t go exactly as planned. Detour marks Smith’s third collaboration with Magnet.” The news was first reported by Deadline.

– Producers Cassian Elwes and Andre Gaines are producing a remake of the 1972 revenge thriller “Fear Is The Key,” after purchasing the rights from StudioCanal. “The story, based on a book by Alistair MacLean, takes place in Louisiana and follows the character of John Talbot as he plots an elaborate revenge scheme on the people who killed his family in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. By pretending to be a criminal, Talbot gets close to the culprits, helping them retrieve the priceless cargo of the lost plane from the bottom of the Gulf.” The news was first reported by Deadline.

– The Weinstein Company is in negotiations to pick up North American rights to the Jeremy Renner- and Elizabeth Olsen-starring “Wind River.” Directed by Taylor Sheridan, “the film follows a Fish and Game Department employee (Renner) who stumbles upon the body of a teenage girl frozen in the desolate wilderness. He is enlisted by a rookie FBI agent unfamiliar with the terrain to help find those responsible.” The news was first reported by THR.

– Focus Features has made a deal for the majority of key international territories on Andrea Arnold’s Cannes premiere “American Honey.” A24 had previously acquired the film for domestic distribution. Focus has picked up rights in UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia. The film will debut on Sunday. The news was first reported by Deadline.

– The Orchard has acquired North American rights to Pablo Larrain’s Gael Garcia Bernal-starring “Neruda,” billed as “an unconventional take on the famed Chilean politician-poet, following the film’s world premiere at Directors’ Fortnight.” The distributor plans a fall release for the film, complete with an awards push. The news was first reported by Variety.

– Open Road has closed a deal for the U.S. rights to “Before I Fall,” the Ry Russo-Young-directed adaptation of the popular 2010 Lauren Oliver YA novel. Open Road committed to a wide release of 2,000 screens for the feature. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Kian Lawley, Logan Miller, Cynthy Wu, Elena Kampouris, Medalion Rahimi and Jennifer Beals, and comes complete with a Black List script by by Maria Maggenti. The news was first reported by Deadline

– Broad Green Pictures will distribute Ron Shelton’s “Villa Capri,” starring Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones. The film will hit theaters on August 25, 2017 and kicks off production in New Mexico this summer.

– The Weinstein Company has acquired North American and UK rights to “Hotel Mumbai,” a new film about the 2008 terrorist attacks on the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. Dev Patel and Armie Hammer will start in the film, which will be directed by Anthony Maras. The news was first reported by Deadline.

– Remstar Films has acquired the comedy “Ideal Home” for all rights in Canada. Written and directed by Andrew Fleming, the film stars Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan as “a bickering couple with an extravagant life. Erasmus (Coogan) is a demanding, popular celebrity, and Paul (Rudd) is his more hesitant partner and sidekick. But when Bill, the grandson Erasmus never knew he had, shows up at their high class dinner party with nowhere else to go, the couple reluctantly decide to take him in.” The comedy began production on May 11 and is currently shooting in New Mexico. 

– Nathan Morlando’s crime thriller “Mean Dreams,” which will have its world premiere in Directors’ Fortnight, has sold to France’s LaBelle Company. Elevation Pictures will distribute the film theatrically in Canada. The news was first reported by Variety.

– This year’s biggest Cannes deal looks to be in the final stages of shaping up. STX Entertainment is reportedly in “exclusive negotiations” to pay around $9 million for the U.S. and China rights to Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chasten and Idris Elba. The news was first reported by Deadline.

– UPDATED: A24 is continuing its Cannes hot streak, and is in final negotiations to acquire Lynne Ramsay’s Joaquin Phoenix-starring “You Were Never Really Here.” The film reportedly “focuses on a former war veteran (played by Phoenix) who tries to save women trapped in the world of sex trafficking. Ramsay adapted the script herself, which is based on a novel by Jonathan Ames. Production will start this summer. The news was first reported by Variety, who also share that A24 and Amazon Studios were locked in a bidding war for the film. UPDATED: Turns out, that bidding war was much hotter than initially anticipated, as Amazon has emerged victorious from lots of late night wheeling and dealing and has picked up the film. The news was first reported by Deadline.


– Linmon Pictures has picked up Steven Soderbergh’s “top secret” new project “Logan Lucky” for distribution in China. The film stars Channing Tatum, Michael Shannon and Adam Driver and will feature Tatum and Shannon as brothers “who plan a heist during a high-profile NASCAR race.” The news was first reported by THR.

– Level 33 Entertainment and Recreation Media have joined forces to acquire worldwide rights to horror title “The Caretaker” from Blue Fox Entertainment. Written by Jeremy Robinson and directed by Jeff Prugh, the film stars Meegan Warner and Sondra Blake and follows “a young woman returns home to care for her gravely ill grandmother only to begin sleepwalking, envisioning spirits and uncovering dark secrets in her family’s past.” Level 33 will be releasing the film in North America in the Fall of 2016, while international sales will commence at the upcoming Cannes film market, through Level 33’s partnership with Recreation Media.

– A24 has acquired the U.S. rights to “It Follows” director David Robert Mitchell’s next feature, the Andrew Garfield-starring “Under the Silver Lake.” Mitchell will both write and direct the film, which is set to start shooting at this end of this summer. The deal was completed at Cannes.

– Saban Films is closing in on the North American distribution rights to “War on Everyone,” written and directed by the universally acclaimed John Michael McDonagh. The action comedy made its World Premiere at the 2016 Berlinale followed by its U.S. Premiere at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, and stars Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgård, Theo James and Tessa Thompson. The film “follows two corrupt cops in New Mexico who set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. Or is he?”

– Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Sean Ellis’ World War II drama “Anthropoid” from LD Entertainment. The film is based on the true story of “Operation Anthropoid,” the code name for the Czech operatives’ mission to assassinate SS officer Reinhard Heydrich, who was the Reich’s third in command behind Hitler and Himmler. The film stars Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan as soldiers who are tasked with assassinating Heydrich with very limited resources. 

– The Weinstein Company has snapped up the U.S. rights to the French animated film “Ballerina.” The English-language version will feature Elle Fanning as the voice lead “of 1884 orphaned girl Felicie Milliner, who at 11 strives to become a professional ballet dancer at the Paris Opera.” The movie is billed as “an ambitious $30 million Pixar-style musical in 3D” and is currently in production in Montreal. The news was first reported by Variety

– Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Paul Verhoeven’s Isabelle Huppert-starring “Elle.” The speciality arm of the studio acquired rights in North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe (excluding Russia) and Asia (excluding China and Japan) for the film. The feature was written by David Birke and is based on Phillipe Djian’s novel “Oh…” Per the film’s official synopsis: “Michèle (Huppert) seems indestructible. Head of a leading video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.” The film will screen In Competition at the festival.

– Amazon has reportedly snapped up Mike Leigh’s next project, the historical drama “Peterloo.” The streaming giant is reportedly in talks to pick up North American rights to the feature, which will film in 2017. The film “chronicles the 1819 massacre by British government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally, where some 700 working people were injured and 18 killed.” The news was first reported by THR.

– A24 is staying cozy with Yorgos Lanthimos. The indie outfit will release his “The Lobster” later this week, and they’ve already signed on to distribute his next (and just-announced) new feature, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” The film will re-team the Greek director with his “Lobster” star Colin Farrell, in a film that ” follows a young man that needs to take revenge, a doctor that has to make a decision, and his family that must survive.” Production will start in August in the U.S. The news was first reported by Deadline.

– Amazon Studios and STX Entertainment will next team up Nash Edgerton’s currently untitled directorial project. The collaboration is the first between the streaming player and STX. The new film will star David Oyelowo, Nash’s brother Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried and Charlize Theron. The action-comedy reportedly “centers on a businessman (Oyelowo) who seems to be living the American dream with a new wife and a stake in a pharmaceutical company that’s about to go public. Then everything falls apart, and he ends up stranded south of the border, discovering that his seemingly perfect life never really existed.” Anthony Tambakis and Matt Stone penned the script for the film. The feature is currently in production in Mexico City. The news was first reported by THR.

– Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the LGBT documentary “Seed Money.” The doc follows the life of Chuck Holmes, the San Francisco pornographer turned philanthropist behind Falcon Studios. The doc features interviews with John Waters, Jeff Stryker, Jake Shears, John Rutherford, Chi Chi LaRue and California politicians Mark Leno and Carole Midgen. The film will be sold at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival market. Breaking Glass is planning a U.S. release for October 2016.

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