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Dealmaking on The Rivera; A Slew of Announcements During A Busy First Weekend at Cannes

Dealmaking on The Rivera; A Slew of Announcements During A Busy First Weekend at Cannes

First Weekend at Cannes

compiled by Anthony Kaufman

This past weekend witnessed a lot of activity on the Croisette with
acquisitions announcements a plenty, not to mention a variety of other
news. Here are some highlights:

After what seemed like an endless, distrib-less exhibition journey at
numerous film festivals for Will Geiger’s debut feature “Ocean Tribe
— which is playing in the Cannes market — Phoenix Pictures chief Mike
Medavoy snagged all North American rights. Medavoy, whose company has
never released a film, also gave Geiger the cash to reshoot and recut “Ocean
Tribe” as well as signing him up for a second feature.

Columbia TriStar picked up domestic distribution rights to 1998 LAIFF opener,
Shadrach” which is also screening in the Cannes market. The film was
produced by Millenium Films. The company is going into production on “The
Big Brass Ring” the last screenplay from the late Orson Welles.

The race to catch Lodge Kerrigan’s competition film “Claire Dolan” is on
and foreign rights are falling like dominoes with Israel, Belgium, Switzerland,
and Spain hitting the ground first. Although the film hasn’t screened officially
yet, North American rights are rumored to be a hot topic.

The CLT-Ufa Group acquired worldwide distribution rights to the $4.5
million French thriller and comedy, “Like A Fish Out of Water” a directorial debut
from Herve Hadmar.

October films nabbed North American distribution rights to Andre Techine’s
Alice et Martin” which stars Juliette Binoche

Troma Entertainment (of “The Toxic Avenger” fame) acquired North
American rights to legendary Italian horror-meister Dario Argento’s “The
Stendhal Syndrome
” as well as Jason Philips’s novice outing, “Leftovers.”

Miramax picked up Leos Carax’s “Les Amants du Pont Neuf” (which has been
waiting for US distribution since it came out in 1991) as well as Jacques
Demy’s 1966 classic “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort.”

And in other news:

Lions Gate has announced that Leonardo DiCaprio will star in the company’s
now rapidly growing production of “American Psycho” after being offered a $21
million salary (the budget for the film will be twice that). Mary Harron
(“I Shot Andy Warhol“) has bowed out of the project as DiCaprio
replaces her lead choice Christian Bale. Harron originally adapted the
Bret Easton Ellis novel with Guinevere Turner for a $6 million film.

The AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival announced its ’98 dates
and new advisory committee here at the festival. The festival runs October
22-31 with a new board dominated by distribution execs, Dylan Leiner
(Sony Picture Classics), Mark Ordesky (Fine Line) and Zanne Devine (Polygram),
Adam Goodman (Dreamworks, SKG), Amy Israel (Miramax), Matt Wall (October),
Sara Rose (MGM Distribution) and Joe Pichirallo (Fox Searchlight). Also on
the committe are Steven Soderbergh, Karol Martesko of FILMMAKER Magazine
and Julianne Moore, among others.

October Films struck a two year first look deal with Robert Duvall and
producer Rob Carliner of Butcher Run Films. Duvall’s “Apostle” is having its
foreign debut at the festival.

Canadian Based Alliance and U.S.’s Artisan (formerly Live) formed a
pact, which will strengthen both companies, giving Alliance access to
Artisan’s United States distribution structure and enabling Artisan to make
the most of Alliance’s U.K. and Canadian pipeline.

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