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More Buzz From Cannes

Written by: FFT Webmaster | May 17th, 2011

Cannes Film Market Quite Robust

After a rather dismal run over the past few years, sales seem to be up in what has been described as a surprisingly robust Cannes Film Market this year. Aside from the deals being announced on the prestige titles in the Festival or those that make their announcements here for maximum press impact, the company plying films in the Marche du Film (as it is called) that range from exploitation pics to no name indie titles, are reporting strong interest and brisk sales. The success at the box office this past year of indie titles such as THE KING’S SPEECH, BLACK SWAN, BLUE VALENTINE and other independently produced films has buoyed the market, if not quite back to its heyday of the 1990s, then at least to a more joyful place than it has been since the post-9/11 doldrums. Theatrical is still iffy, television becoming more uniform and the dvd market is only a shadow of its former self, but the potential of new income sources from digital downloads and video on demand has brought some new companies to the fold and has given a surge to the market overall.

Terrence Malick A No Show For Cannes Premiere

Brad Pitt in THE TREE OF LIFE

Despite intense speculation of a rare sighting of the notoriously reclusive film auteur Terrence Malick, the director was a no show at the Monday morning press conference that immediately followed the press preview screening of his first film in six years, the morality tale THE TREE OF LIFE. The film, one of the Festival’s most anticipated titles, was met with a chorus of boos and a smattering of applause by the film critics who were the first to see the film at an early morning press screening at the Palais des Festival. The film, which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in a multi-generational drama of the role of fate and luck in life, has its official red carpet premiere this evening, and it is not clear whether Malick will show for that either (although it is speculated that he is in town).

FilmDistrict Nabs Angelina Jolie Bosnia Pic

Angelina Jolie

New distribution shingle FilmDistrict, headed by veterans Peter Schlessel and Bob Berney, has added a plum title to its 2011 release schedule. The company announced at the Cannes Film Festival that it will release the directorial debut of actress Angelina Jolie, a Bosnian War drama titled IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY. The film, which was also written by the Oscar winning actress, was produced by Graham King and Tim Headlington. The film was simultaneously shot in English and in Bosnian-Herzegovinian, the language spoken by much of the cast, including Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic, Rade Serbedzija and a supporting cast largely made up of  local children. “I wanted to tell a story of how human relationships and behavior are deeply affected by living inside a war”, Jolie was quoted in the press release announcing the acquisition. She was in Cannes to promote KUNG FU PANDA 2, a sequel to the animation hit which had a non-competitive world premiere at the Festival. FilmDistrict plans to release the film on December 24, clearly anticipating it as an Oscar contender.

Erotic Fairy Tale Picked Up By Sundance Selects

The Australian film SLEEPING BEAUTY, a provocative and controversial erotic fairy tale by Julia Leigh, has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Sundance Selects, the collaborative venture between the Sundance Institute and IFC Films. The film, which is screening in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, stars Emily Browning as a young woman who is drawn into an unusual world of erotic desire. The film, which received mixed reviews from the Cannes critics, is full of full nudity and explicit sex, which will make it a marketing challenge for the distributor if the film receives a restrictive rating from the MPAA ratings board. Expect this to be one of the controversial releases of the year, something that the distributor would not mind a bit.

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