By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 10, 2011 at 8:30AM
The Berlin Film Festival market is taking off fast with deals announced on several pictures selling rights there, as many other sellers hope that the market favors their wares as well.
- Magnolia Pictures acquired North American rights to the French adrenaline-rush thriller Point Blank (A Bout Portent) from director Fred Cavayé (Anything For Her). The film stars Gilles Lellouche as a man fighting against time and through Paris streets to save his kidnapped (and pregnant) wife. Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn calls it "a heart pumping, edge-of-your-seat" film whose comparisons to Die Hard and Taken are "well deserved."
- Feature film rights to The Perks of Being a Wallflower go to Summit Entertainment. Harry Potter's Emma Watson and Percy Jackson & the Olympians's Logan Lerman will star in this heartbreaking and funny coming-of-age tale about a boy dealing with first loves (Watson), the loss of his best friend, a mental illness of his own, all in the midst of trying to discover where he belongs. Stephen Chbonsky directed the film which is based on his own screenplay and 1999 novel. Summit president of production Erik Feig says:
"Every so often you read a book that reminds you what life was really like at a particular age in all its wonderful and terrible details or if you're lucky enough to read it at the right time in your life, it can change the course you're on and make you think things are actually going to be ok. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is that book and we are thrilled for the opportunity to turn it into that kind of movie as well. We know we are off to the right start with Stephen directing, with Emma and Logan starring, and with our talented producer team [Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith].”
- Fest holdover La Mission, from writer-director Peter Bratt, goes to Maya Entertainment for international rights. Starring Benjamin Bratt (he also produced), the drama is a love letter to the uniquely American and often hidden San Francisco neighborhood. La Mission tells several stories, from a man fighting to reconcile a life he thought he had, to a gay teenager's relationship with his violent father, to a community fighting to uphold its history and culture amidst conflicting values. Says Maya's International EVP Elias Axume, "Benjamin Bratt delivers an amazing performance in this film that we believe will resonate with audiences around the globe.”
- Prohibition gangster thriller Wettest County, from director John Hillcoat (The Road) and starring Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Tom Hardy (Inception) and Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life), has gone to Glenn Basner's FilmNation for international sales. The film, adapted by Nick Cave from Matt Bondurant's novel, is currently in pre-production in Georgia; shooting starts February 28. FilmNation also reps the Colin Firth/Cameron Diaz starrer Gambit.
- And Sony Pictures Worldwide and Samuel Goldwyn Films have secured domestic rights for A Good Old Fashioned Orgy with funny man Jason Sudeikis.