Fortissimo balancing big slate

Arrives in Cannes with host of done deals

CANNES -- 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.

"In the last few months the French market has popped, and we've made a number of significant sales," Fortissimo co-chair Michael J. Werner said.

The Madonna-produced Malawi docu "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 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.

"Serbis," "I Am" and "Sparrows" also sold to Israel's United King, as did its Che Guevara merchandising doc "Chevolution," the Killer Films comedy "Gigantic" and the Icelandic road movie "Country Wedding."

The Sundance award-winning Jordanian drama "Captain Abu Raed" sold to Khan for Taiwan and Golem for Spain. "Sparrows" also sold to Action for Norway and Cinemien for Benelux.

Fortissimo also recently sold its entire Wong Kar Wai and Hal Hartley libraries to U.K.-based Artificial Eye. U.K.'s Metrodome took rights to Jacob Cheung Chi Leung's "Battle of Wits."

One notable recent addition to the Fortissimo lineup is Lee Chi Ngahi's "Dance Subaru!," adapted from a popular Japanese manga about a young ballerina.