Pair of Deals: IFC Gets "Turtles" and Palm Takes "System"
by Eugene Hernandez
A pair of acquisitions deals announced Tuesday, wrapping a week of buying activity, some of which was based at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. IFC Films nabbed Bahman Ghobadi's "Turtles Can Fly," Iran's entry in the foreign language Oscar race this year. Meanwhile, Palm Pictures nabbed Adam Bhala Lough's "Bomb The System."
Bhala Lough's "System," which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, earned the filmmaker the best director prize at Urbanworld and also garnered the film an Independent Spirit Award for best first film. The film, starring Mark Webber, is the story of a graffiti writer in NYC. It will be released in theaters next spring, followed by a DVD debut.
"'Bomb The System' is a perfect fit for Palm Pictures' growing catalog of urban, music-driven films. Adam's debut illustrates his unique vision and talent as a young filmmaker," said Palm Pictures' David Koh, in a prepared statement. "The film stylishly captures a moment in New York City history with the energy to resonate with the current generation of young people." Koh negotiated the pact with Jackie Eckhouse of Sloss Law, producer Ben Rekhi and executive producer Robert Bethge.
"Turtles Can Fly" is set in Kurdistan on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq. The film, the story of a young kids growing up in a bleak and dangerous region, follows a young boy who installs satellite dishes in villages as locals seek news about Saddam. The film won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Silver Bear at the Chicago International Film Fest.
"'Turtles Can Fly 'is a phenomenal addition to the IFC slate," said IFC's Jonathan Sehring in a statement. "Bahman Ghobadi has created a masterpiece and 'Turtles' will be recognized in years to come as one of the greatest anti-war films ever made. We are exceptionally proud to be associated with such a timely and provocative work and to establish a relationship with one of the great filmmakers of this era." Sehring and IFC's Sarah Lash negotiated the pact with Silvere Moreau of BAC Films.