A roundup of recent acquisitions at a slow festival for deals
Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s “Heartbeats” and first-time director Antoine Blossier’s thriller “Prey” are the latest films to land stateside distribution deals out of Cannes, with IFC Films picking up U.S. rights to both films from the filmmakers’ sales agent, REZO.
In what has been a slow year for Cannes deals, IFC acquired “Heartbeats,” a “Jules and Jim”-type story of a love triangle from the 21-year-old director of last year’s well-received “I Killed My Mother,” for distribution via the IFC in Theaters platform, which couples a theatrical release with same-day video-on-demand delivery.
(Photo of Xavier Dolan, Niels Schneider and Monia Chokri in "Heartbeats" courtesy of REZO.)
“Prey” will be released by the IFC Midnight label, which was created for genre and speciality films.
A roundup of other recent deals out of Cannes — most of them coming from the Film du Marche market rather than the official lineup, where acquisitions have been scarce:
Phase 4 Films acquired North American rights to “Brotherhood,” a drama about fraternity hazing directed by Will Canon. The film won the audience award at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival; it is not screening at Cannes, but is represented at the Film du Marche market.
The film will be released theatrically later in the year.
BBC Worldwide has secured several international licensing agreements for “Stones in Exile,” director Stephen Kijak’s documentary about the recording of the 1972 Rolling Stones album “Exile on Main Street.” Deals have been made in France with France 5, in Spain with Canal Plus, in Belgium with VRT, in Holland with VPRO, in Sweden with SVT, in Norway with NRK, in Finland with YLE, in Russia with Channel 1, and in Australia with ABC.
Walter Salles’ film version of the classic Jack Kerouac novel “On the Road,” which is set to begin filming in August with Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst, was acquired for distribution in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand by Icon Film Distribution. Rights for Germany and the Benelux countries had previously been sold.
Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland, who has been called “the Ridley Scott of Norway,” has signed to direct “The Elephant,” a film based on a major oil strike in the North Sea in 1969. The film was written by Petter Skavlan, who adapted the Magnar Jonsgaard novel “Black Rain” – which is not to be confused with the 1989 film “Black Rain,” which was directed by the real Ridley Scott.
The science fiction film “Skyline,” from “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” directors Greg and Colin Strause, has been acquired by Rogue. The low-budget film, which was described by Movie Cultists as “’Night of the Comet’ meets ‘Cloverfield,’ but with aliens,” was sold on the basis of a teaser trailer. The film, which is nearing completion, is being executive produced by Brett Ratner and Brian Tyler, and by Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tolley from Relatively Media, the parent company of Rogue.
Mission Pictures International has acquired four films for international sales and distribution: “Letters to God,” “To Save a Life,” “The Way Home” and “The Mighty Macs.” The company is a faith-and-family-oriented enterprise that uses church-based distribution for its films.