N.A. crews on march at market

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North American acquisitions teams are close to closing several Festival de Cannes pickups, but none had completed deals by press time Wednesday.

Still in heavy play going into the final days are CAA's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," directed by Julian Schnabel; "Control"; and Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park," for which William Morris Independent is handling North American sales.

On the international sale side, business has been brisk at the Marche du Film.

Foresight Unlimited has had a strong Cannes this year, selling multiple territories for its genre pictures "It's Alive," "The Ledge," "Smashing" and "Hangman."

Sony picked up multiple territories on "Smashing," taking U.K., Australian, Japanese, French and Italian rights on the film. "Smashing" also went to Germany (Square One), Spain (Negro Y Azul), Benelux (Paradiso), Latin America (Polarstar) and Eastern Europe (SPI).

"Hangman" went to Germany (Square One), Latin America (Gussi), Brazil (Focus Filmes), Eastern Europe (Vision), South Korea (Eureka) and Portugal (Lusomundo).

Foresight sold the horror title "Alive" to more than a dozen territories, including to Tripictures for Spain, A-Film for Benelux, West Video in Russia and Focus Filmes for Brazil.

"Ledge" went to multiple countries, including Spain (New World), Eastern Europe (Vision) and Russia (West Video).

Other deals include:

Paris-based international sales agent Coproduction Office has closed a slew of deals for Roy Andersson's "You, the Living" ahead of its Un Certain Regard premiere today. Sales have been made to Les Films du Losange in France, Style Jam in Japan, Neue Visionen in Germany, Cinema Mondo in Finland, Ama in Greece and Sponge in Korea.

Coproduction also has struck deals for Ulrich Seidl's In Competition title "Import Export" to Lumiere and Filmmuseum in Benelux, Filmladen in Austria, Gutek in Poland, Sponge in Korea and Video Seven in Greece.

Fandango Portobello Sales closed several territories for Jan Sverak's "Empties," the third in the trilogy of films written by and starring the director's father, Zdenek Sverak. The other two were "The Elementary School" (1992) and the Oscar-winning "Koyla" (1996).

"Empties" went to Fandango in Italy, Dendy in Australia, Lumiere for Benelux, Filmswelike in Canada and Audiovisual in Greece. Germany was expected to close by late Wednesday. The comedy is a boxoffice hit in its native Czech Republic, where it has grossed about $5 million, a record for a local-language film.

Sales of "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon," continued apace as Easternlight sealed deals for Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. Director Daniel Lee's $20 million Chinese historical action epic sold to Grand Brilliance for Malaysia and Singapore and to Scholar Multi-Media Inc. for distribution in Taiwan. The film, shooting in China, is the screen adaptation of a 600-year-old Chinese tale and stars Andy Lau, Maggie Q and Sammo Hung.

Germany's Telepool racked up a number of smaller territory sales, inking with Russia's Barnhill Entertainment for the Scandinavian Crusades epic "Arn the Knight Templar," selling the Christmas-themed animation "Way to the Stars" to Turkey (Tiglon) and the German bad-taste comedy "Where Is Fred?" to Sejong in Korea.

Nu Image sold the rights to the Al Pacino-Robert De Niro actioner "Righteous Kill" to Moonlight Films for Benelux.

Stuart Kemp, Jonathan Landreth and Tatiana Siegel contributed to this report.
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