Virtual Cannes Deals Memo: Day 2

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'Chicken Run'

STX takes worldwide rights on Elisabeth Moss starrer 'Run Rabbit Run' and Netflix boards the 'Chicken Run' sequel in big deals as the Virtual Cannes Market moved into its second day.

A sign that the Virtual Cannes Market might actually rack up some real business came on the second day, Tuesday, with news that STX Entertainment picked up worldwide rights on XYZ Films' upcoming genre title Run Rabbit Run, starring Elisabeth Moss and helmed by her The Handmaid's Tale director Daina Reid.

STX will release the film itself in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland and will take sales rights for the rest of the world, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, where the film is going out under Umbrella Entertainment.

Moss, who earned some genre cred with the sleeper hit The Invisible Man, plays a fertility doctor whose firm grasp on the cycle of life is put to the test as her young daughter begins to exhibit increasingly strange behavior. Run Rabbit Run is set to begin production in Australia later this year.

A trio of smaller domestic deals were inked ahead of day two, with IFC Midnight picking up Finnish body horror title Hatching for the U.S. in a deal with Wild Bunch International and CAA Media Finance; Artsploitation Film taking North American rights for Israeli chiller Happy Times from M-appeal; and Grasshopper Film nabbing U.S. rights to Camilo Restrepo's Columbian feature Los Conductos, winner of this year's best first film award in Berlin, from Brussels-based sales group Best Friend Forever.

Scandinavian stalwart TrustNordisk closed multiple international deals on its upcoming World War II drama The Crossing ahead of its Virtual Cannes Market screening Wednesday, selling to Menemsha Entertainment for the U.S. and Cinemania Group for rights in the former Yugoslavia. TrustNordisk, which first introduced the title to buyers in Berlin, has already sold The Crossing to Italy (Mediaset), Benelux (In the Air) and to Foxx Media for Czech Republic and Slovakia.

FilmSharks snapped up worldwide sales and remake rights to the buzzy genre title Ghosting Gloria, a Uruguayan feature said to be a mashup of paranormal horror, comedy and eroticism. 

Ukrainian cinema also got a boost, with Film.UA Distribution closing Italian deals with Eagle Pictures for its historical action film The Rising Hawk and animated feature The Stolen Princess and inking a deal for France as well as French-speaking Europe and Africa for sports drama Pulse. Film.UA Distribution earlier sold The Rising Hawk to Shout Factory for North America.

The streaming giants also made their presence felt on day two of the Cannes market, with Amazon Prime Video joining Latido Films and Vértice Cine on Spanish-language comedy Polyamory for Beginners from director Fernando Colomo (Isla Bonita). Amazon picked up Spanish TV rights, with Vértice Cine handling theatrical in the territory and Latido world sales. Produced by Madrid-based Morena Films, the project, starring María Pedraza and Karra Elejalde, will begin shooting in early October.

And Netflix delighted Aardman Animation fans worldwide when it confirmed it has greenlit a sequel to Aardman's 2000 claymation hit Chicken Run. The news, confirmed during an Annecy "Making of" panel held by the animation festival during the Virtual Cannes Market, will see Netflix distribute the film globally outside of China. Netflix's involvement was made possible after Pathé, which backed the original Chicken Run, and French group StudioCanal, which has financed, distributed and sold Aardman productions since the Shaun the Sheep Movie in 2015, closed a deal to allow the British group to transfer sequel rights to the streaming giant.

The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news, back in 2018, that Aardman was working on a sequel to Chicken Run. The feature, which grossed $225 million worldwide, remains the most successful stop-animation film of all time.