Miramax nabs U.S. rights to Meirelles' 'Blindess'

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TORONTO -- Miramax Films on Saturday nabbed U.S. rights to Fernando Meirelles' dramatic thriller "Blindness" for just under $5 million.

Meirelles' follow-up to "City of God" and "The Constant Gardener" chronicles a city overtaken by a plague of blindless through the eyes of a small band of quarrantined citizens. The film stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Don McKellar's screenplay is adapted from Portuguese Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago's acclaimed 1995 novel. Principal photography is currently underway in Toronto, where the film was acquired Saturday during the film fest.

Miramax president Daniel Battsek has a long history with the director, having released "God" when he was at Buena Vista International.

The $25 million Brazilian-Canadian co-production is produced by Niv Fichman, Andrea Barata Ribeiro and Sonoko Sakai. The executive producers are Gail Egan and Simon Channing-Williams.

The deal was negotiated by Miramax's Michael Luisi with Fichman, Sakai and attorney Steve Saltzman at Loeb & Loeb.
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