festival de cannes digest


Craig is a 'Fool' for Walsh debut

CANNES — Daniel Craig is temporarily laying down his Walther PPK to play a fading Hollywood star in Baillie Walsh's "Flashbacks of a Fool." Craig has joined Helen McCrory, Olivia Williams and Emilia Fox in the film, which details the story of a hedonistic British actor whose Hollywood career begins to nose-dive in his 40s. "Flashbacks" marks the writing and directing debut for Walsh, whose résumé includes turns behind the camera on music videos. Produced by Lene Bausager and Damon Bryant, with Craig serving as executive producer, the movie has sold to Buena Vista International for all U.K. rights. Arclight is handling international sales duties at the Marche du Film.

London finance market draws crowd

CANNES — Working Title, Focus Features, Paramount, Pathe, the Weinstein Co. and StudioCanal will attend London's first-ever production finance market, organizers said Sunday. The Film London Production Finance Market is set to run Oct. 22-23 during the Times BFI 51st London Film Festival. The market will focus heavily on new private forms of investment and film finance as well as new distribution avenues. The event already has won cross-industry support from the U.K. Film Council, U.K. Trade and Investment, PACT, Skillset, the NPA, the London Development Agency and Peacefulfish, a consultancy for financing the content industry.

Closed channels for dubbing talks

CANNES — Italy's dubbing industry opened its latest round of multiyear contract negotiations Saturday, with state broadcaster RAI and satellite broadcaster Sky Italia both absent from the start of the talks, which will determine the terms and length of the next contract among Italian broadcasters, film distributors and the country's main dubbing unions. Without progress in the talks, there could be no contract in place when the current deal expires June 8. Union officials said they are prepared to strike if necessary to achieve their terms. Dubbed films remain popular in Italy, though there is a movement toward subtitles on non-Italian-language titles.

Argento's 'Mother' heads for Rome

CANNES — Italian horror director Dario Argento's new film, "The Third Mother," will premiere at this year's RomaCinemaFest, which runs Oct. 18-27. The third film in the "Three Mothers" trilogy, the film is set in Argento's hometown of Rome and centers on an American art student (daughter Asia Argento) who opens an urn, unleashing the world's most powerful witch. A refurbished edition of Argento's "Suspiria" screened this year in Cannes, 30 years after its original screening.

Kinowelt lands Kusturica's 'Promise'

CANNES — Kinowelt Filmverleih has picked up German rights to Emir Kusturica's In Competition title "Promise Me This." Set outside Belgrade, the drama centers on an old man who prays for his son to go to the city and find a wife. "Promise" will have its In Competition premiere Friday. Kinowelt also released Kusturcia's "Underground" (1995) in Germany as well as the director's "Black Cat, White Cat" (1998).

Harlin enacts 'Brodie's Law'

CANNES — Renny Harlin will direct and produce the thriller "Brodie's Law," from a script by Kirsten Elms and based on a graphic novel by Daley Osiyemi and David Bircham. Darclight, the L.A.-based genre division of Arclight Films, will handle international sales at Cannes for the film, which is in preproduction. The story centers on Jack Brodie, a prison-hardened thief who hopes that a corporate espionage gig will be his ticket to a better life with his estranged wife and their son. The heist goes awry, but Brodie escapes with a secret that might cost him his life. "Brodie's Law" will be produced by Steve Squillante, Harrison Kordestani, Ford Oleman and Mark Costa.
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