Cannes digest: Lightning offers up 'Invocation'

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Lightning offers up 'Invocation'
Jim Carrey, Deepak Chopra and more than a hundred international religious leaders and nonbelievers from around the world will appear in Emmanuel Itier's feature documentary "The Invocation." Lightning Entertainment's Rich Goldberg and Richard Guardian are repping international sales rights to the project, which features interviews with everyone from "Peaceful Warrior" author Dan Millman to the Church of Satan's Peter Gilmore examining issues surrounding faith. Lightning's Cannes slate also includes Jada Pinkett Smith's "The Human Contract" and the thriller "Anamorph," starring Willem Dafoe.

'Countess' bows to Bac in France
"2 Days in Paris" wasn't enough for Julie Delpy, who has sold her sophomore directing effort "The Countess" to Bac Films for theatrical release in France. The film's international sales agent Celluloid Dreams also has inked a distribution deal in the U.K. with Halcyon for the $10 million co-production. Already sold in 25 territories, the period thriller about the rise and fall of the notorious countess Bathory stars Delpy alongside her "2 Days in Paris" co-stars William Hurt, Daniel Bruhl and Anamaria Marinca.

Elephant partying with 'Frat Girl'
New York-based sales, production and distribution company Elephant Eye Films has added "Frat Girl" to its production roster. Written and directed by Nate Meyer, "Frat Girl" will be co-produced by Derrick Tseng alongside Elephant founders David Robinson and Kim Jose. Elephant also said it is repping Michael Jacobs' documentary "Audience of One."

Dubai calls for Muhr entries
Organizers of the Dubai International Film Festival will be panning Cannes for new Arab, Asian and African films for their competitions: the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema and the newly formed Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards. A total of $576,000 is awarded in prize money for the two awards, which are designed to provide extra support in territories where filmmakers often work under duress. The fifth edition of the DIFF is scheduled to run Dec. 11-18.

Wong, Rhames on island vacation

Russell Wong and Ving Rhames will star in Stanley Orzel's martial arts thriller "Unshakeable," one of two new titles up for sale in Echo Bridge Entertainment's Cannes lineup. The duo star as mercenaries on a supposedly easy private island gig that becomes an unexpected test of their survival skills. Baltasar Kormakur's thriller "Run For Her Life," starring Dermot Mulroney and produced by 26 Films' Michelle Chydzik Sowa and Nathalie Marciano, also has been acquired for Echo Lake's slate.
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