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Berlin — Before he begins filming Doug Ellin‘s Entourage movie in earnest, Kevin Connolly decided to go on an unusual solo adventure: to sell a project to foreign buyers for the first time.
Last weekend, Connolly arrived at Berlin’s European Film Market for The Wright Girls, an Atlas Independent comedy he is directing that stars Jessica Alba (he also directed her in the upcoming pic Dear Eleanor). During back-to-back buyer meetings at the Ritz-Carlton that left him hoarse, Connolly explained his vision for the film, which follows two female sitcom stars and roommates who find themselves vying for the same role.
His efforts paid off. In a boost for the film’s financial profile, the Highland Film Group has sold the movie in a number of key territories, including Germany and CIS, and is in final negotiations for Japan, France and Latin America, among other territories.
William Green and Aaron Ginsburg of Atlas Independent are producing Wright Girls alongside Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner. Atlas Independent is an affiliate of Atlas Entertainment.
While in Berlin, Connolly told The Hollywood Reporter that being at a film market was different from anything he has experienced professionally. The second female lead in Wright Girls has yet to be cast, and he said different territories had wildly different reactions to possible actresses. He wouldn’t reveal any specifics. Nor would any of the older distributors recognize him.
“I can’t wait to get home and tell my friends and family about it,” Connolly said. Some of those friends include actors he is reuniting with to make the long-awaited Entourage movie, based on the hit HBO series, including Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon.
While Ellin began shooting last month, Connolly will begin his work in earnest in the coming days.
Highland Group CEO Arianne Fraser agreed that EFM was an eye-opening experience for Connolly, but that his presence was incredibly valuable. “It is important for the distributors to hear from the director,” she said.
Connolly is set to start shooting Wright Girls in May. In Germany, Fraser and Highland president of sales Delphine Perrier signed deals with SquareOne Entertainment, Joy & Content in South Korea, Revolutionary Releasing in Eastern Europe/CIS, Mis Label in Scandinavia, Five Stars in Israel and Falcon Films in the Middle East.
“We were charmed by Kevin’s charisma and witty sense of humor and his passion and enthusiasm for the film is so infectious that we couldn’t help but fall in love with the project almost immediately,” said SquareOne CEO Al Munteanu.
Bert V. Royal (Easy A) wrote the script, which Alba brought to Connolly.
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