Market shapes up for 'Mary & Max'

Gaumont strikes deal for France, Benelux, Switzerland

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BERLIN -- Adam Elliot's clay animation feature "Mary & Max," featuring the voices of Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Humphries and Eric Bana, will be looking for subtitles now that Gaumont has snapped up all rights for France, Benelux and Switzerland from Icon Entertainment International.

The deal was struck on the eve of the European Film Market, which starts Thursday with Icon hitting the ground running. The movie unspools in the Generation 14plus sidebar of the Berlinale.

Gaumont Theatrical Distribution chief Francois Clerc described Elliot as the kind of writer-director the French audience "truly needs to discover."

Other territories sold include CIS, Greece, the Czech Republic and the Middle East, Icon said.

Spanning 20 years and two continents, "Mary & Max" details a penpal relationship between a chubby, lonely 8-year-old living in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, and Max Horovitz, a severely obese, 44-year-old Jewish man with Asperger Syndrome living in New York.