The 2023 Cannes Market is behind us, and like clockwork, Neon managed to buy the winner of the Palme d’Or for the fourth straight year, Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.”
But that wasn’t the only major sale. This year’s Marché du Film netted major domestic deals for some of the buzziest competition titles such as Todd Haynes’ “May December” and Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves,” as well as hot packages like “Paddington 3.” But uncertainty over the writers strike still loomed large, and distributors favored completed projects over packages.
Below are some of the deals we’ve tracked out of Cannes so far, and we’ll be updating this space with more sales as they come in.
Title: “Last Summer”
Distributor: Sideshow and Janus Films
There goes another competition title off the market. Sideshow and Janus Films, in their second acquisition this week, acquired “Last Summer,” which is the first film from French director Catherine Breillat (“Bluebeard”) in a decade. The distributors are planning a theatrical release after playing the fall festivals.
“Last Summer” is produced by Saïd Ben Saïd and is an adaptation of the 2019 Danish film “Queen of Hearts.” The film follows a lawyer living a harmonious suburban life in Paris with her family until her husband’s son from a previous marriage comes to live with them, threatening her career, her relationship, and putting her family’s life in danger.
The film stars Léa Drucker, Samuel Kircher, and Olivier Rabourdin and was written by Breillat with the collaboration of Pascal Bonitzer. “Last Summer” is an SBS production.
The deal was negotiated by Pyramide International on behalf of the filmmakers with Sideshow and Janus Films.
Distributor: Well Go USA
Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest film “Monster” has landed a North American theatrical distribution deal from Well Go USA. It will hit theaters either in late 2023 or early 2024.
Kore-eda’s melodramatic film is a riff of sorts on “Rashomon” that emotionally has the complexity of a Christopher Nolan movie, as IndieWire’s review describes it, looking from multiple different perspectives about why a boy at school begins displaying strange and unusual behavior.
The film returns Kore-eda to his native Japan for the first time since he won the Palme for “Shoplifters” in 2018, and “Monster” came away with the Screenplay prize from Ruben Östlund’s jury for writer Yuji Sakamoto.
The deal was negotiated by Goodfellas and CAA Media Finance.
Title: “About Dry Grasses”
Distributor: Sideshow and Janus Films
“About Dry Grasses,” the latest film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, was acquired for U.S. distribution by Sideshow and Janus Films. The film won the Best Actress prize for star Merve Dizdar from the jury led by Ruben Östlund. Sideshow and Janus plan to release the movie in theaters following further debuts at fall festivals.
In “About Dry Grasses,” Samet, a young art teacher, is finishing his fourth year of compulsory service in a remote village in Anatolia. After a turn of events he can hardly make sense of, he loses his hopes of escaping the grim life he seems to be stuck in. Will his encounter with Nuray, herself a teacher, help him overcome his angst?
The movie is an NBC Film, Memento Production and Komplizen Film Production. The screenplay was written by Akin Aksu, Ebru Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan and stars Deniz Celiloglu, Merve Dizdar, Musab Ekici and Eve Bagci.
Sideshow and Janus’ “About Dry Grasses” acquisition is their first acquisition out of the festival after they last year bought Jerzy Skolimowski’s “EO” and the year before that acquired the Best Picture nominee Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car.”
The deal was negotiated by Playtime on behalf of the filmmakers with Sideshow and Janus Films.
Title: “Hot Mess”
In a package sale out of the Cannes market, Vertical secured North American rights to an Emma Roberts comedy called “Hot Mess” with an eye to begin shooting the project in early 2024. The film is currently in pre-production.
“Hot Mess” is the directorial debut of Katie Locke O’Brien and is written by Gabrielle D’Amico. It follows Roberts as a woman who implodes and fails to find love on a wildly popular dating show and finds herself moving back home to her parents’ basement, all while bumping into her ex-boyfriend around town.
Debbie Liebling, Maggie Malina, and Laura Lewis are producing the project. Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international sales.
Title: “Perfect Days”
After already buying Palme winner “Anatomy of a Fall” and the out-of-competition “Robot Dreams” earlier in the fest, the distributor has closed a deal to acquire North American rights to Wim Wenders’ latest film “Perfect Days” in the mid-to-high seven figure range, an individual with knowledge told IndieWire.
Seller The Match Factory also sold out other international rights for the film, including MUBI taking rights to the UK, Ireland, Latin America, and Turkey.
“Perfect Days” is a Japanese film from the German auteur and follows a man content with his simple life of cleaning toilets, only for a series of chance encounters to break him out of his tranquil routine and slowly reveal more about the man’s past.
The film stars Koji Yakusho, Arisa Nakano, Tokio Emoto, Yumi Aso, Sayuri Ishikawa, Tomokazu Miura, Aoi Yamada, and Min Tanaka. Wenders directed and co-wrote the script with Takuma Takasaki. Wenders and Takasaki are also producers along with Koji Yanai.
Title: “Fallen Leaves”
MUBI will not stop. The distributor has now picked up “Fallen Leaves,” the 20th film from Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki that is playing in the main competition and is already earning early raves as a potential contender for the Palme d’Or.
MUBI acquired the North American rights, as well as UK, Ireland, Latin America, and Turkey, in a bidding war out of Cannes following its premiere Monday. Kaurismäki’s tragicomedy will be released theatrically and release plans will be announced soon.
The film tells the story of two lonely people who meet each other by chance in the Helsinki night and try to find the first, only, and ultimate love of their lives. Their path towards this honorable goal is clouded by the man’s alcoholism, lost phone numbers, not knowing each other’s names or addresses, and life’s general tendency to place obstacles in the way of those seeking their happiness.
The film was produced by Sputnik Oy and Bufo and co-produced by Pandora Film. Written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki, “Fallen Leaves” stars Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, and Nuppu Koivu. The film was made with the support of the Finnish Film Foundation, Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, ZDF/ARTE, ARTE G.E.I.E, Filmförderungsanstalt, and Film-und Medienstiftung NRW.
The Match Factory is handling international sales. Check out IndieWire’s review here.
Title: “The Settlers”
Section: Un Certain Regard
For MUBI’s third acquisition out of Cannes, the distributor and art house streamer acquired North American rights (and other territories) to Un Certain Regard title “The Settlers.” The film will be released theatrically, and release plans will be announced soon.
Felipe Gálvez directs the Chilean period drama set at the beginning of the 20th century and is about a wealthy landowner who hires three horsemen to mark out the perimeter of his extensive property and open a route to the Atlantic Ocean across vast Patagonia. The expedition, composed of a young Chilean mestizo, an American mercenary, and led by a reckless British lieutenant, soon turns into a “civilizing” raid. Gálvez and Antonia Girardi (in collaboration with Mariano Llinás) wrote the script.
IndieWire’s review called the film “masterful” and said it was a great companion piece to “Killers of the Flower Moon,”
“The Settlers” stars Mark Stanley, Camilo Arancibia, Benjamín Westfall, Alfredo Castro, Mishell Guaña, Agustín Rittano, Mariano Llinás, Sam Spruell, Adriana Stuven, Luis Machín and Marcelo Alonso.
The film was produced by Giancarlo Nasi, Benjamín Domenech, Santiago Gallelli, Matías Roveda, Emily Morgan, Thierry Lenouvel, and Stefano Centini. It was co-produced by Katrin Pors, Eva Jakobsen, Mikkel Jersin, Kristina Börjeson, Anthony Muir, Ingmar Trost, Fernando Bascuñán; and executive produced by Alex C. Lo, Constanza Erenchun, and Amy Gardner. mk2 negotiated the deal with MUBI.
Title: “In Our Day”
Section: Directors’ Fortnight
Distributor: Cinema Guild
“In Our Day,” the latest from South Korean auteur Hong Sangsoo and his 12th to premiere at Cannes, was acquired for North American distribution by Cinema Guild. The distributor has handled 20 of his movies and is planning a theatrical release for this one later this year after it makes its North American festival premiere. It debuted as the closing night film for the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar.
The film follows two separate stories of artists who each get a visitor asking them big questions about their career in the arts and beyond, slowly realizing their encounters are not mere coincidence. The film stars Kim Minhee, Song Sunmi, Ki Joobong, Park Miso, and Ha Seongguk.
The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Youngjoo Suh of Finecut.
Title: “May December”
Netflix has taken U.S. and Canadian rights to Todd Haynes’ Competition sensation “May December,” starring Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, and Charles Melton. In the campy drama, 20 years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, a married couple buckles under the pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.
This is Haynes’ first narrative film in Competition at Cannes since 2015’s “Carol.” The script is written by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik.
It was a surprise that Haynes’ movie would be available on the market while playing in competition given its pedigree, and Deadline reported that the film was sold to Netflix for $11 million.
Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Grant S. Johnson, Pamela Koffler, Tyler W. Konney, Sophie Mas, Portman, and Christine Vachon all produced the film. Executive producers are Lee Broda, Alex Brown, Samy Burch, Madeleine Rudin Johnson, Jonathan Montepare, Jeff Rice, Thomas K Richards, and Thorsten Schumacher. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group brokered the domestic deal, and Rocket Science holds the film’s international rights.
Title: “Anatomy of a Fall”
Neon has acquired North American rights to director Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” marking the distributor’s second acquisition at the festival thus far following Pablo Berger’s animated “Robot Dreams.” Sandra Hüller is earning Cannes Best Actress buzz for her performance as a German writer suspected of killing her husband, who died under mysterious circumstances.
French filmmaker Triet, who is one of only seven female filmmakers at Cannes this year, directed and co-wrote “Anatomy of a Fall” with Arthur Harari. “Anatomy of a Fall” is a presentation of Les Films Pelleas and Les Films de Pierre and is produced by Marie-Ange Luciani and David Thion.
The deal was made by NEON’s President of Acquisitions Jeff Deutchman and was negotiated with Fionnuala Jamison, managing director and head of international sales at mk2 Films.
Title: “Paddington in Peru”
“Paddington in Peru,” the third Paddington movie, has been picked up for domestic release by Sony out of the Cannes market from producers Studiocanal and Heyday Films, an individual with knowledge of the acquisition told IndieWire.
The film is the follow-up to the beloved and critically acclaimed “Paddington 2,” though this time Paul King merely has a story credit, and the film will be the directorial debut of commercials filmmaker Dougal Wilson. Filming will take place in London and Peru as Paddington Bear takes a new journey from Windsor Gardens to South America.
King wrote the story with Simon Farnaby and Mark Burton with the screenplay by Burton, Jon Foster, and James Lamont. David Heyman and Rosie Alison with Rob Silva as co-producer. Paul King, Tim Wellspring, Jeffrey Clifford, Anna Marsh, Ron Halpern and Dan MacRae are executive producing.
Warner Bros. previously released the last two Paddington movies, which collectively grossed more than $500 million globally at the box office. Studiocanal is fully financing and will distribute the film in the UK, France, Germany, Benelux, Australia/New Zealand, and Poland, while Sony Pictures holds rights for the rest of the world, excluding Russia, China and Japan.
Title: “The Delinquents”
Section: Un Certain Regard
The first of the Cannes competition titles to find a North American home, MUBI has swept up the North American rights (and other territories) to “The Delinquents,” a Spanish-language comedy and drama from director Rodrigo Moreno that just premiered at the festival in the Un Certain Regard section.
IndieWire’s review called it “delightfully existential” and is a heist movie about two ordinary people trying to break out of their boring lives who are brought together by crime and a low-key bank robbery that opens the film. “The Delinquents” is part of the “New Argentine Cinema” movement.
The film stars Daniel Elías, Esteban Bigliardi, Margarita Molfino, Laura Paredes, Mariana Chaud, Cecilia Rainero, and Germán De Silva. The film is produced by Ezequiel Borovinsky of Wanka Cine (Argentina), co-produced by Les Films Fauves (Luxembourg), Sancho&Punta (Brazil), Jirafa Films (Chile), Jaque (Argentina), and Rizoma (Argentina).
MUBI plans to release the film theatrically in North America while Magnolia International has rights in other parts of the world.
Title: “They Shot the Piano Player”
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics is going Bossa Nova at Cannes and has acquired the North American rights to “They Shot the Piano Player,” an animated film featuring Brazilian music from the directors of “Chico & Rita.” SPC plans to release it later this year and qualify it for year-end awards.
Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal direct the upcoming film about a New York music journalist who go on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr. The film is a celebration of Latin American history in the ’60s and ’70s just before the continent was engulfed by totalitarian regimes.
Jeff Goldblum narrates “They Shot the Piano Player,” and it also features the music of João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes, and Paulo Moura.
The film is produced by Cristina Huete of Trueba PC in Spain, along with Serge Lalou for Les Films d’Ici in France, Janneke van de Kerkhof for Submarine Sublime in the Netherlands, and Humberto Santana in Portugal. It is executive produced by Nano Arrieta of Atlantika and Fabien Westerhoff of Film Constellation.
SPC also acquired rights in Scandinavia, India, Middle East, Turkey, Southeast Asia (excluding Taiwan and South Korea) and airlines. Remaining territories will be sold by Film Constellation.
Title: “High and Low — John Galliano”
MUBI acquired the North American rights to “High & Low – John Galliano,” Kevin Macdonald’s (“The Last King of Scotland”) documentary about the famed fashion designer John Galliano. MUBI acquired the film ahead of its planned premiere at fall festivals later this year, and MUBI will first release it theatrically before it hits their streamer.
Galliano was one of the most influential fashion designers in the world for Givenchy and Dior for 15 years, helping to transform the fashion industry into the multi-billion dollar business it is today. But in 2011 his career ended following a leaked racist and anti-semitic tirade. Macdonald turns the camera on Galliano himself as well as his family and examines his contradictions and his history with drug and alcohol addiction that fueled his downfall.
The deal was negotiated between MUBI and Newen Connect. High & Low – John Galliano was produced in association with Condé Nast Entertainment. MUBI also acquired rights in UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Latin America, Benelux, Turkey, and India.
Title: “Robot Dreams”
Section: Special Screenings
Neon on Wednesday has acquired ahead of its Cannes premiere the North American rights to the first animated feature from Spanish filmmaker Pablo Berger (“Blancanieves”), “Robot Dreams,” which is playing in the Special Screenings section on Saturday. It’s the first major deal for an official competition title during the festival and represents a streak of acquisitions from Neon at Cannes, which now includes three Palme d’Or winners, “Parasite,” “Titane,” and “Triangle of Sadness.”
The film, which is based on a graphic novel by Sara Varon, follows DOG, who lives in Manhattan and one day, tired of being alone, decides to build himself a robot, a companion. Their friendship blossoms, until they become inseparable, to the rhythm of 80’s NYC. One summer night, DOG, with great sadness, is forced to abandon ROBOT at the beach. Will they ever meet again?
Berger also produces “Robot Dreams” alongside Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé, Sandra Tapia Diaz, Ángel Durández, with Jérôme Vidal, Sylvie Pialat and Benoit Quainon co-producing. The deal was negotiated by Sarah Colvin on behalf of Neon with Adeline Fontan Tessaur co-founder of Elle Driver, who represents worldwide sales rights to the film in Cannes.
Title: “Den of Thieves 2: Pantera”
Distributor: Briarcliff Entertainment
Briarcliff Entertainment acquired the U.S. distribution rights to “Den of Thieves 2: Pantera,” the sequel to the Gerard Butler action thriller “Den of Thieves” from 2018, out of the Cannes market, and the distributor plans to release it theatrically in the fourth quarter of 2024. The film is in production now.
Christian Gudegast returns to direct and write the sequel along with stars Butler and O’Shea Jackson Jr. The film follows Butler’s Big Nick back on the hunt on the mean streets of Europe and tracking Donnie (Jackson) who is embroiled with the infamous Panther mafia that is plotting a massive heist of the world’s biggest diamond exchange.
The original “Den of Thieves” grossed $80 million worldwide. The new film is financed by eOne and Tucker Tooley Entertainment, and Briarcliff acquired the film from eOne.
Title: “Mercy Road”
Distributor: Well Go USA
Luke Bracey stars in this psychological thriller as an everyman who commits an impulsive and vicious crime. The film is directed by John Curran and was sold out of Cannes by Arclight Films. Well Go USA is planning a North American release for the film in late 2023.
The film is produced by Arclight Films’ Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye and Michelle Krumm. Filmmaker Alex Proyas, Penny Karlin and Daniaile Jarry are also producers.
Title: “Camp Hideout”
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
“Camp Hideout,” a new comedy that stars Christopher Lloyd, has landed with Roadside Attractions for U.S. distribution, while Highland Film Group is launching international sales on the film at the Cannes market.
The comedy directed by Sean Olson is about a troubled teen who steals a top-secret gadget and hides out in a summer camp run by an eccentric character played by Lloyd. Dave DeBorde, Kat Olsen and C. Neil Davenport wrote the film. Phillip Glasser and Jason Brown are producers.
The film will be released theatrically by Roadside on September 15. The deal was negotiated by Roadside Attractions Co-President, Howard Cohen and Jason Brown on behalf of Called Higher Studios and PZAJ.
Title: “Across the River and Into the Trees”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
In its second deal from the Marché, Bleecker Street acquired North American rights to “Across the River and into the Trees” starring Liev Schreiber. The film is based on Ernest Hemingway’s final novel, and the distributor plans to release it later this fall.
Paula Ortiz directs the film that also stars Matilda De Angelis, Josh Hutcherson, and Danny Huston. The film is set in post WWII Italy and follows a war hero haunted by the war who commandeers a military driver to take him to his old haunts in Venice, where he meets a remarkable young woman who will rekindle his hopes. Peter Flannery wrote the screenplay.
The film is produced by Robert MacLean and Michael Paletta for Tribune Pictures, alongside John Smallcombe, Kirstin Roegner, Ken Gord as well as Spring Era Films’ Jianmin LV and Daxing Zhang. Executive producers include William J. Immerman, Laura Paletta, David Beckingham, Justin Raikes, Simon Fawcett, Jonathan Taylor, Hani Musleh, Harel Goldstein and Rick Romano. Andrea Biscaro is the Italian line producer. The deal was brokered by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street, with Brian O’Shea of The Exchange and UTA Independent Film Group for the filmmakers.
Title: “The YouTube Effect”
Distributor: Drafthouse Films
In one of three new acquisitions announced Tuesday, Drafthouse Films picked up the rights to Alex Winter’s latest documentary “The YouTube Effect,” which is the “Zappa” director’s eye-opening look at the culture and influence that surrounds YouTube. The film premiered at Tribeca back in 2022 and will now have an exclusive release in Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas on July 7 before expanding July 14.
Drafthouse also acquired another documentary, “Mister Organ,” the latest film from “Tickled” director David Farrier about another stranger than fiction story. That movie was an audience favorite at Fantastic Fest and is already a box office hit in New Zealand.
Finally was “Everyone Will Burn,” a Spanish supernatural horror film from director David Hebrero. It follows a little girl who may have the key to stopping a fabled impending apocalypse. All three films will have a theatrical release at Alamo locations and other theaters before debuting on streaming.
Title: “The Origin”
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Bleecker Street on Tuesday announced it nabbed the North American rights to “The Origin” from Sony Pictures’ Stage 6, a film that world premiered at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and was nominated for five British Independent Film Awards and won one. Bleecker is planning a 2023 theatrical release for either this fall or winter.
Andrew Cumming’s Stone Age thriller is a horror film set 45,000 years in the past and follows early humans who band together in search of a new land. But when they suspect a malevolent, mystical, being is hunting them down, the clan is forced to confront a horrifying danger they never imagined. Chuku Modu, Kit Young, Iola Evans, Safia Oakley-Green, Luna Mwezi, Arno Luening, and newcomers Rosebud Melarkey and Tyrell Mhlanga star. Ruth Greenberg wrote the script.
David Kaplan, Sam Intili, Kristin Irving for the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery) and Leslie Finlay for Screen Scotland serve as Executive Producers. The acquisition was negotiated by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street with Stage 6.
Title: “Untitled Ernest Cole Documentary”
Magnolia acquired North American rights to an untitled documentary from “I Am Not Your Negro” filmmaker Raoul Peck about South African photographer Ernest Cole, who chronicled apartheid throughout South Africa. The film will hit the Cannes market for international sales from mk2.
The film highlights Cole’s work via more than 60,000 newly recovered 35mm film negatives shot during his time in South Africa and while in exile in the U.S. shooting across New York City and the American South. The negatives were thought to be forever lost, and the film seeks to reintroduce a great Black artist to a new generation.
Magnolia plans to release the movie theatrically. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia Co-CEO Dori Begley, as well as SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, and by Range Media Partners on behalf of mk2 and the filmmakers.
Title: “The Stones and Brian Jones”
Nick Broomfield (“Kurt and Courtney”) directs this documentary about Brian Jones, one of the founding members of The Rolling Stones, who died in 1969, yet was key to the early success of the British rock legends. The movie features interviews with the main members of the Stones and other key players and has unseen archival footage of the band.
Magnolia acquired the film ahead of the Cannes market, while Submarine is screening it to international buyers at the Marché du Film. Magnolia will release it theatrically later this year.
“The Stones and Brian Jones” is presented by BBC Music, a Lafayette Film production, and is produced by Nick Broomfield, Shani Hinton, Marc Hoeferlin, and Kyle Gibbon. Executive producers are Paul Trynka, Harriet Vyner, and Charles Finch and Executive produced for the BBC Patrick Holland, Jan Younghusband, and Mark Bell.
Title: “Strange Way of Life”
Section: Special Screenings
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics/MUBI
Pedro Almodóvar’s latest short film “Strange Way of Life” is a Western starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke as two gay gunmen who reunite after working together as hired guns 25 years earlier. The film is just the second English language project from the Spanish auteur following “The Human Voice.”
Sony Pictures Classics, which also released “The Human Voice,” acquired “Strange Way of Life” while it was in pre-production and has worldwide rights to the project (excluding the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and Latin America), but the film ahead of the Marché landed a pair of international deals for Italy and Latin America from MUBI. Sony Pictures Classics plans to release the film this fall following its premiere as an Official Selection in the Cannes lineup.
Produced by Almodóvar’s El Deseo and presented by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, “Strange Way of Life” also stars Pedro Casablanc, Manu Ríos, George Steane, José Condessa, Jason Fernández and Sara Sálamo. It is produced by Agustín Almodóvar, with Esther García as executive producer and Bárbara Peiró, Diego Pajuelo, and Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello as associate producers. The score is composed by four-time Academy Award nominee Alberto Iglesias.