'Vacation' unwinding at market

Brazilian pic, 'Happened' among early EFM movers

With sales for Competition movies yet to heat up, the Brazilian film "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation," directed by Cao Hamburger, is one of the titles that is selling fast.

Paris-based Films Distribution has sold the 1970s political coming-of-age drama to the five-territory buyers' collective Indie Circle, which comprises Haut et Court in France, Lucky Red in Italy, Frenetic in Switzerland and Cineart for Belgium and the Netherlands. Additionally, Vertigo acquired the film for Spain.

A U.S. deal is in the works and likely will close in the next day or two, according to Films Distribution sales co-chief Francois Yon.

2929 International signed one of the few major deals of the market so far, selling several major territories for Barry Levinson's "What Just Happened?" The comedy, which stars Robert De Niro, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Willis and John Turturro, was picked up by Telemunchen for Germany, Medusa in Italy, TF1 in France and Manga in Spain.

Germany's Beta Cinema printed out several territory sales on the Competition title "The Counterfeiters," with Benelux going to ABC/Cinemien, Europa Filmes taking Brazil and J-Bics acquiring rights for Thailand.

Outside of Competition titles, one picture generating a lot of market interest is the romantic comedy "Two Days in Paris" from actress-turned-director Julie Delpy, which is screening in the Panorama section. French sales company Rezo International expects to sell out practically all world territories on the picture during the European Film Market, with a North American deal imminent.

New Line co-chief Bob Shaye has screened the film — which stars Delpy, Adam Goldberg and Daniel Bruhl — and several other U.S. distributors are interested as well. All European territories have been sold except Spain and the U.K., the latter of which will be sold after the U.S., according to Rezo sales chief Laurent Danielou. "We're very happy," he said.

Meanwhile, among market titles, French distributor StudioCanal has acquired the Sundance hit "The Signal" for French-speaking Europe from Los Angeles-based Shoreline Entertainment. It is the second significant deal for Shoreline during the first days of this year's EFM, having recently announced its deal with Contender for the U.K. theatrical rights on Allan Moyle's "Weirdsville."

Written and directed by David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry and Dan Bush, "Signal" is a three-part story about a mysterious signal being transmitted from all media devices in the city of Terminus, provoking murder and madness among its inhabitants.

In January, Magnolia Pictures picked up theatrical rights in North America, the U.K. and Australia to the Shoreline horror film after a midnight screening in Park City.

In another Sundance pickup here, David Sington's space-race documentary award winner "In the Shadow of the Moon" has been acquired by Madman Entertainment for Australia and New Zealand. The title originally was commissioned by U.K. broadcaster Channel 4's Hamish Mykura and Louisa Bolch and produced by Duncan Copp at Dox Prods. in association with John Battsek's Passion Pictures. The filmmakers have used carefully restored, previously unseen NASA footage and candid in-depth interviews with the surviving astronauts.

The Madman deal was brokered by Channel 4 International's Nada Cirjanic, who is selling all rights worldwide excluding North America, where ThinkFilm has theatrical rights.

Beta also racked up sales on the German comedy "My Fuehrer — The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler," which went to Videa for Italy, Best Hollywood for Hungary, LNK for Portugal and Monolith for Poland. In total, the comedy, screening in the German Cinema section at the festival, has sold to more than 15 territories.

German distributor MFA has picked up German theatrical and video rights to the Beta title "Salvador," which features German star Bruhl.

Scott Roxborough and Stuart Kemp contributed to this report.
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