Pathe gets U.K., French rights to Cannes pics


LONDON -- Pathe has picked up U.K. and some French rights for a slew of features from last month's Festival de Cannes, executive vp Francois Ivernel said Wednesday.

The distributor has acquired joint territory rights to Focus Features International's "Blindness," directed by Fernando Meirelles, and Edko Films' "Blood: The Last Vampire" as well as U.K.-only rights to Fortissimo's "Mama's Boy," and 2929 International's "What Just Happened?"

"Blindness" brings to life Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago's tale of humanity under siege from an epidemic of blindness. The film, in preproduction with filming scheduled to begin in the fall, has been adapted by Don McKellar and produced by Niv Fichman, Sonoko Sakai and Andrea Barata Ribeiro. Executive producers are Simon Channing-Williams and Gail Egan.

Based on the novel of the same name by Art Linson, "What Just Happened?" -- starring Robert De Niro and directed by Barry Levinson -- centers on a fading movie producer trying to salvage his career while caught up in a maelstrom of ex-wives, teenage daughters and movie-industry insiders.

Tim Hilton's "Mama's Boy" is a romantic comedy starring Diane Keaton and Jeff Daniels.

The live-action drama "Blood" -- based on a popular Japanese manga about a female vampire slayer, features Korean star Gianna and is directed by Chris Nahon and produced by Bill Kong, Abel Nahmias and Ronny Yu.

The deals were negotiated by Ivernel and acquisitions head Emil Elmer on behalf of Pathe. Alison Thompson negotiated on behalf of Focus Features International, Shebnem Askin on behalf of 2929 International, Nicole Mackey on behalf of Fortissimo and Bill Kong on behalf of Edko Films.