Sony Pictures Classics made the first major deal of the Berlinale, nabbing US and Latin America rights to the competition title "Aloft." The film is the English-language debut of Peruvian filmmaker Claudia LLosa (Oscar-nominated "The Milk of Sorrow") and stars Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy, Melanie Laurent and William Shimell.
Connelly plays Nana, a mother working hard to become an artist and healer, while Laurent is a young journalist who tracks down Nana's son (Murphy), abandoned by his mother 20 years earlier. The story unfolds as the two begin to rebuild a relationship.
Llosa has a strong history with Berlin, as "The Milk of Sorrow" also scored the festival's Golden Bear in 2009.
Meanwhile, Film Movement has taken North American rights for "To Kill a Man," also screening in Berlin. The deal was struck in the final days of Sundance, and finalized at the Berlinale. Directed by Chilean Alejandro Fernandez Almendres, the buzzy genre item follows a man who takes justice into his own hands when his children are put in danger. The film won Locarno's Carte Blanche rough cut showcase.