German firms gobble up Cannes Competition titles
Concorde, Senator lead the packGerman buyers were back in a big way at this year's Festival de Cannes, with indie distributors from Berlin to Munich picking up virtually all of the available Competition titles.
Concorde Filmverleih won the scramble for Cristian Mungiu's Palme d'Or winner "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," signing a deal with sales agent Wild Bunch before the Romanian drama took home the top prize Sunday. Concorde also picked up the Israeli crowd-pleaser "The Band's Visit," which screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.
Senator Film, which already had secured rights to Quentin Tarantino's Competition entry "Death Proof," acquired German theatrical rights for Michael Moore's health-care documentary "Sicko," which had its world premiere in a special screening at Cannes.
The German TV rights to the docu already had been presold to ARD/Degeto.
Senator also prebought Moore's "Uprising," a look at the political culture of U.S. college campuses during his recent 60-city cross-country tour.
In addition to "Sicko," Senator picked up German rights to Tarsem Singh's thriller "Unthinkable"; the horror title "The Eye," starring Jessica Alba; the romantic comedy "The Brothers Bloom," from Rian Johnson ("Brick"); and Rob Zombie's "Halloween" remake, which stars Malcolm McDowell.
After picking up Cannes opener "My Blueberry Nights" shortly before the festival, Munich-based Prokino nabbed two more Competition titles: Julian Schnabel's best-director-winning effort "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the animated "Persepolis" from Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, which received a special jury prize.
Kinowelt acquired one of the last remaining Competition titles for Germany, Emir Kusturica's "Promise Me This," as well as Pen-ek Ratanaruang's thriller "Ploy," which screened in the Directors' Fortnight section. The Leipzig-based distributor also bought "Live!" Bill Guttentag's media satire featuring Eva Mendes and David Krumholtz, after its Cannes market screening and closed deals on several films in at the festival, including "Saw 4" with Lionsgate and Chinese action drama "The Banquet" from director Xiaogang Feng.