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Fortissimo sells big

Fortissimo Films has arrived in Cannes with six distribution deals in the fest's home country and more than a dozen other sales for its art house slate. The Madonna-produced Malawi documentary "I Am Because We Are" and the Likely Story production "Sleep Dealer" found a home with France's La Fabrique just weeks after securing domestic deals in the states. Wong Kar Wai's recut and updated actioner "Ashes of Time Redux" and the Un Certain Regard entry "Tokyo Sonata" landed at ARP. Fortissimo's sole Competition entry, the Filipino drama "Serbis," went to the distribution arm of Swift, while Majid Majidi's Iranian drama "The Song of Sparrows" went to FSF.

'Countess' bows to Bac

"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 "Paris" co-stars William Hurt, Daniel Bruhl and Anamaria Marinca.

'Frat Girl' rides Elephant

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."

Muhr the merrier

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 for the prizes, which are designed to provide support in territories where filmmakers often work under duress. The fifth edition of the DIFF is set for Dec. 11-18.

Echo Bridge kicks back

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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