Deals trickle down at Locarno festival

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The first distribution deals from this year's Locarno Film Festival have begun trickling in, with Kirill Serebrennikov's competition title "Yuri's Day" inking a distribution deal with Germany's m-appeal.

The deal comes on the heels of a handful of other agreements, including the sale of Federico Bondi's "Mar Nero" to Intramovies, Medialuna's pickup of world distribution rights to Ozcan Alper's "Autumn" and Wide Management's international rights deal for Lionel Baier's "Un autre homme."

Other films — including Marcos Siega's comedy "Chaos Theory," Hannes Stohr's "Berlin Calling" and Anne Fontaine's "La Fille de Monaco," all of which screened in the Piazza Grande during the weekend — are thought to be close to securing distribution deals.

Several distributors commented that the program this year represented a step up from '07, with more possibilities for distribution deals.

"There are a lot of films worth talking to people about," one distributor said. "That doesn't mean deals will be made, but there are some films that are attracting interest."

Meanwhile, the festival itself continued Tuesday under cloudy skies and drizzling rain. So far, this year's event has been the wettest Locarno fest in several years — a blow for a festival whose most important venue, the Piazza Grande, is outdoors.

Forecasts predict the weather will improve for Wednesday night's Piazza Grande screening of Garth Jennings' "Son of Rambow." (partialdiff)
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