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Berlin Dealbook: Pina, Midnight's Children, Tyrannosaur, Hot Potato, House of Horror (UPDATE)

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 11, 2011 at 5:55AM

The deals keep coming at the European Film Market in Berlin.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The deals keep coming at the European Film Market in Berlin.

- 3-D dance film Pina (pictured), from director Wim Wenders, is premiering at the Berlin Fest on February 13. UK rights have gone to Curzon Artificial Eye for an April 22 release. The film focuses on the German choreographer Pina Bausch (who passed away in 2009) and her dance ensemble, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, as they escape the theatre and take to the city of Wuppertal.

- UPDATE: The Weinstein Co. grabbed domestic rights (Icon to handle international sales) to Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes' Shakespeare-inspired directorial debut, in which he co-stars with Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave. The film is screening in competition in Berlin.

- FilmNation Entertainment is selling Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, adapted by Canadian director Deepa Mehta. The project kicked off on February 6, and several distribution deals have been made, among them the UK's eOne, France's Metropolitan and Village Roadshow for Australia and New Zealand. FilmNation's Glen Basner said: "With such distinctive source material in Deepa’s capable hands we anticipate a film as richly textured as India herself.” DATE: Mehta is also developing Donald Martin's Henri Matisse biopic to star Al Pacino, reports Variety.

Thompson on Hollywood


- Strand Releasing picked up actor-turned-director Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur (pictured) --his feature debut- - which won the World Cinema Directing and Dramatic and World Cinema Special Jury Prize at Sundance. The film already sold to Wild Bunch for Benelux and Front Row Filmed Entertainment for the Middle East. Optimum Releasing will distribute in the UK, Madman for Australia and New Zealand, and Non Stop Entertainment for Scandinavia. The film stars Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, whose performances landed the film's Special Jury Prize.

- Hot Potato marks Tim Lewiston's feature debut and is being shopped by Locomotive Distribution. He directs Ray Winstone, Lois Winstone, Jack Huston, Colm Meaney and John Lynch in this 1960s Brit gangster-uranium flick. Lewiston is also developing his second feature, Cheltenham. Of directing Hot Potato, he said he "loved every minute" and he "cried the first time I said, 'cut'". He's set up at Wardour Pictures, where he plans to produce a remake of 1950s comedy Genevieve. He ultimately wishes to produce three features a year out of the company's London base.

- Saw franchise writer-director-exec-producer-editor (he had different roles in each) James Wan has signed an eight-picture (two per year) producing deal with Icon Entertainment International. The first is House of Horror, based on Wan's story and Max La Bella's screenplay-- details are being kept under wraps -- to be directed by Javier Gutierrez. Wan confirmed to Variety that he had many ideas and because he can't direct them all--maybe one, he says--he is excited to be involved as producer. Wan adds: "The idea is to produce small, scary, low-budget pics that I enjoy making. I don't see myself coming up with any romantic-dramedy ideas right now." Wan recently sold horror flick Insidious to Sony Worldwide in Toronto, which FilmDistrict will release theatrically.

- Comic-western In With the Outlaws, from writer-producer Nicholas Sercombe and director Richard E. Grant, will shoot in the spring in England on a $10 million budget, to be financed with private equity from the UK, U.S. and Canada. Distribution negotiations are underway. Grant's second feature follows Wah-Wah in 2005.

- Jet Li pic The Sorcerer And The White Snake has its international rights going to Hong Kong's Distribution Workshop. The film, directed by Tony Ching Siu-tung (House of Flying Daggers, is currently in post.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Independents, Foreign


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.