Virtual Cannes Deals Memo: Day 1

Courtesy of Sundance
Viggo Mortensen's directorial debut 'Falling' closed deals across Europe and Latin America on Day 1 of the Virtual Cannes Market

HanWay's closing most of the world on Viggo Mortensen's directorial debut 'Falling,' Cinephil racking up major sales on Berlin audience hit 'Gunda,' and XYZ Films' sci-fi feature 'Stowaway' were among key sales.

International buyers were not slow off the mark for the first (and, most hope, last) Virtual Cannes Market, with a raft of deals closing as the online event kicked off Monday.

HanWay inked multiple sales for Falling, Viggo Mortensen's directorial debut, which premiered in Sundance and was picked to be part of the official Cannes 2020 festival selection. Modern Films secured U.K. rights to the drama, which sees Mortensen playing a man dealing with his emasculated and dementia-inflicted father (Lance Henriksen). Metropolitan Filmexport took France, California Filmes secured rights across Latin America and Pris bought rights to the title in Portugal. Falling presold to much of the world including Germany (Prokino), Canada (Mongrel), Italy (BIM) and Japan (Kino Films). UTA is handling domestic sales at Virtual Cannes.

Cohen Media Group and Curzon acquired Fernando Trueba's 2020 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection title Forgotten We'll Be for North America and the U.K., marking the first acquisition made jointly across both major English-speaking territories since the CMG purchase of Curzon in December.

Fast-growing German studios Leonine snatched up STX International's Violence of Action, a black-ops thriller starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Gillian Jacobs from Swedish director Tarik Saleh (The Nile Hilton Incident). 30West and CAA Media Finance are selling domestic rights.

Gunda, Victor Kossakovsky’s groundbreaking documentary on farm animals, which premiered in Berlin, racked up major sales in Europe and Asia for Cinephil, with deals with Altitude in the U.K., Metropolitan in France, Filmwelt in Germany, Bitters End in Japan, JinJin Pictures in South Korea and Umbrella Entertainment for Australia and New Zealand. Neon has North American rights to the film, a black-and-white, voiceover-free look at the life of eponymous commercial farm pig Gunda as well as animals rescued from industrial farming sites.

Agnieszka Holland’s Charlatan, another Berlin Festival premiere, has nearly sold out across Europe, with Films Boutique closing deals in France (KMBO), Spain (Vercine), Italy (Movies Inspired) and across German-speaking territories (Pro-Fun Media). Great Movies have snatched up the title, based on the true story of legendary herbalist Jan Mikolasek, for Latin America, which also went to Australia (Vendetta Films), Israel (Lev Cinema), Turkey (Filmarti), Benelux (Cinemien Film Distribution) and Hungary (Mozinet) among other territories.

Meanwhile, Munich-based sales agent Global Screen closed major European deals for Byambasuren Davaa's drama Veins of the World, which went to Les Films du Preau for France, Surtsey Films for Spain, Angel Films for Scandinavia and Filmcoopi for Switzerland. The title has sold to some 60 territories worldwide to date.

France's Memento Films International closed several major territory sales for Persian Lessons, a World War II-set drama by House of Sand and Fog director Vadim Perelman. Memento closed for the feature with more than a dozen new territories including the U.K. and Ireland (Signature), France (Kmbo), South Korea (Jin Jin Pictures), Australia & New Zealand (Rialto) and Latin America (California). Cohen Media Group picked up North American rights for Persian Lessons after its world debut in Berlin earlier this year.

Genre specialists XYZ Films closed a handful of remaining territories still open on the sci-fi thriller Stowaway, including with Falcon for the Middle East, Elevation for Canada, Volga for the CIS region and with Disney in a pan-Asian pay-TV deal. Wild Bunch has the film, director Joe Penna's follow-up to Arctic, starring Toni Collette and Anna Kendrick, in Germany and France with Sony handling the rest of the world. The U.S., China and Japan are the only three territories still open on Stowaway, which is near completion.