Haneke pic, 'Coco' picked up by SPC


An absence of high-profile English-language films with U.S. stars makes this year's Festival de Cannes less than an acquisitions hotbed for bigger specialty divisions.

For a certain type of buyer, though, it's paradise.

Late Wednesday, Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American rights to Michael Haneke's German-language period pic "The White Ribbon" and Jan Kounen's French-language "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky," which is set to close the fest.

The first pickup marks another SPC collaboration with Haneke, whose "Cache" was released by the company in 2005. The "Chanel" buy brings to two the number of Chanel-related releases on SPC's slate; it also plans to distribute the Audrey Tautou-starring "Coco Avant Chanel" domestically.

"Cannes is not a place for commercial films," SPC's Tom Bernard said. "It's a place for high-quality titles, and there are not a lot of people still in that business." (partialdiff)