TIFF 2016 Film Acquisition Rundown: IFC Films Picks Up ‘The Bleeder,’ XLrator Media Buys ‘Salt And Fire’ And More

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our special edition of TIFF-only buys.
A Quiet Passion
"A Quiet Passion"

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our special edition of TIFF-only buys, just as the annual fall festival is wrapping up in the Far North.

– IFC Films has announced that the company has acquired U.S. rights to Philippe Falardeau’s “The Bleeder.” The film, directed by Falardeau and written by Jeff Feurzeig and Jerry Stahl, stars Liev Schreiber, Elisabeth Moss and Naomi Watts. The feature had its world premiere at the 2016 Venice Film Festival followed by its North American premiere in Toronto this week.

It is “is the true story of Chuck Wepner, the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series ROCKY—a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. In his ten years in the ring, Wepner endured two knockouts, eight broken noses, and 313 stitches. But his toughest fights were outside the ring: an epic life of drugs, booze, wild women, incredible highs and extraordinary lows.” The film will have a theatrical release in spring 2017.

– Magnolia Pictures has announced that they have acquired North American rights to Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” the documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, “Remember This House.” The book “is one of the great incomplete works of American literature, where Baldwin attempted to recount the lives and successive assassinations of his friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr; Baldwin’s notes and the unfinished manuscript were entrusted to filmmaker Raoul Peck by the Baldwin estate.” The film is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

READ MORE: ‘The Bad Batch’: Ana Lily Amirpour’s Follow-Up to ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ Acquired by Screen Media Films

– Netflix has lined up a deal to acquire Fabrice Du Weisz’s drama “Message From the King” out of TIFF. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Teresa Palmer, Luke Evans, Natalie Martinez and Alfred Molina and premiered last Thursday in the Vanguard section here at Toronto.

It follows “Boseman as a mysterious traveler from South Africa who combs the Los Angeles underworld for those responsible for the death of his sister.” The news was first reported by Deadline.

"The Bleeder"
“The Bleeder”Campbell Grobman Films/Mike Tollin Productions

– Tajj Media has set up U.S. distribution has been set up for the Director’s Fortnight entry “Two Lovers and a Bear” on the heels of its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. FOX secured the home entertainment rights, and the film will be available on Netflix in early 2017.

Starring Dane DeHaan and Tatiana Maslany, the film “is set near the North Pole, in a town of 200 souls, where roads lead to nowhere. It is in this eerie lunar landscape that Roman (DeHaan) and Lucy (Maslany), two burning souls, will make a leap for life, a leap for inner peace.”

– In advance of its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, XLrator Media acquired U.S. distribution rights to Academy Award nominee Werner Herzog’s “Salt and Fire,” starring Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, Veronica Ferres and Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal.

The film “tells the story of a corporate CEO and a group of scientists who must band together despite their ideological differences to try to avoid a looming environmental catastrophe. The film was shot in Bolivia at the stunning Uyuni salt flats (the world’s largest) and Germany.” XLrator Media will release the film in theaters in Spring 2017.

READ MORE: ‘Lady Macbeth’ Goes to Roadside Attractions in Big TIFF 2016 Buy

– Starting on October 12, Netflix will offer its members the chance to spend a night with Justin Timberlake. The entertainment streaming company has acquired global rights to the performance film, “Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids,” which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday, September 13.

Directed by Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme and produced by Emmy Award winner Gary Goetzman, the Netflix Original Film showcases the entertainer’s final date of his 20/20 Experience World Tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids
“Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids”Netflix

– Following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Well Go USA Entertainment has acquired the North American distribution rights to acclaimed filmmaker Xiaogang Feng’s “I Am Not Madame Bovary.” The drama stars Fan Bingbing, as well as Guo Tao and Da Peng.

The film “tells the satirical story of Li Xuelian (Bingbing), a village woman accused of being an adulterer. After a ruling is made against her in her divorce case, she begins an annual ‘journey of petition’ to Beijing in order to prove that her divorce was a sham, and to redeem her reputation.”

Well Go USA will release the film in the U.S. and Canada on October 7which follows the wide release in China on September 30.

READ MORE: Why Natalie Portman’s Oscar Buzz in ‘Jackie’ Prompted TIFF’s Hottest Buy

– Prior to its North American premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival — where it played as a Special Presentation on September 13 — Vertical Entertainment secured the U.S. rights to Nathan Morlando’s coming of age thriller “Mean Dreams.”

The film star Bill Paxton, Colm Feore, Sophie Nélisse and Josh Wiggins and “follows courageous local farm boy Jonas (Wiggins) and the new girl next door, Casey (Nélisse), as they embark on a journey that will change their lives forever.” The film debuted at Cannes this year. Vertical will release the film in theaters day-and-date on Q1 2017.

– Following its North American premiere in the Masters section of the Toronto International Film Festival, Music Box Films has picked up all U.S. rights to Terence Davies’ “A Quiet Passion.”

Mean Dreams
“Mean Dreams”

The film is Davies’ eighth feature and it the story of the reclusive now revered 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon). The film had its international premiere at the 2016 Berlinale. Music Box is planning a late first quarter 2017 theatrical release for the film.

– C International Sales, a subsidiary of Cinestaan International Ltd., has acquired all worldwide rights to “A Death in the Gunj,” the writing and directorial debut of award winning international actress Konkona Sensharma. The film premiered duking opening weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film “is an atmospheric coming of age story depicting an incident from Sensharma’s own childhood.”

READ MORE: As ‘Jackie’ and ‘Colossal’ Lure Buyers, Toronto Turns Into a Waiting Game

– Toronto-based Syndicado has acquired world sales rights to “In Exile” (“Pyi Pye”), a documentary about the plight of Burmese refuge migrant workers in Thailand. World premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film was chosen to screen in TIFF DOCS program.

The film “is about people who have fled their home country Myanmar, a fate they share with director Tin Win Naing.” “In Exile” is his first feature, after having filmed politically sensitive events such as the Saffron Revolution, and is the second feature doc to come out of Myanmar.

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