03 Nov 2016


By: Jeremy Kay, Andreas Wiseman, Melanie Goodfellow, Geoffrey Macnab, Wendy Mitchell, Elisabet Cabeza, Gabriele Niola

Source: Screen Daily

Screen correspondents profile some of the hottest and most intriguing projects from around the world available to buyers here at the American Film Market.

Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer and his team will commence international sales on Craig Gillespie’s drama-biopic I, Tonya, with Margot Robbie in negotiations to play controversial US figure skater Tonya Harding. Len Blavatnik’s AI Film will fully finance and UTA Independent Film Group and CAA represent US rights.

FilmNation will be talking up Bona Fide Productions’ The Only Living Boy In New York starring Jeff Bridges, Kate Beckinsale, Pierce Brosnan, Callum Turner, Cynthia Nixon and Kiersey Clemons. Marc Webb directs from a screenplay by Allan Loeb about a college graduate who embarks on a relationship with his father’s mistress. Amazon Studios holds US rights.

IM Global is fully financing and launching international sales on Drake Doremus’s Zoe, which will star Charlie Hunnam and Léa Seydoux. Scott Free Productions is producing the tale of two research lab colleagues who make profound discoveries in their work to perfect romance through technology. Production is set for April in Montreal. UTA Independent Film Group represents US rights.

Bloom will start sales on Fonzo, starring Tom Hardy as Al Capone. Addictive Pictures and Lawrence Bender produce the story, set in the Chicago gangster’s final days as he is ravaged by dementia. Josh Trank directs and CAA and WME Global represents US rights.

Voltage Pictures launches sales on Morgan Creek Productions’ Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me, about the life and legacy of the iconic hip-hop star and actor. Benny Boom directs newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr in the lead role. The film wrapped production in Atlanta and Las Vegas last spring and the producers are in talks on a US deal.

Nu Image will be talking up Angel Has Fallen, the third entry in the action series starring Gerard Butler. This time, Secret Service agent Mike Banning finds himself the target of assassins.

Paul Hanson’s Covert Media is on board worldwide rights to Resurface, which double Oscar-winning effects ace Paul Franklin (Interstellar, Inception) will direct. The action film centres on a scientist and an engineer trapped 35,000ft underwater after an earthquake separates them from their crew. The project — the first from Covert Media’s two-year deal with Broken Road Productions — is in pre-production.

Red Sea Media arrives with Ecstasia starring Scott Eastwood. Wayne Kramer will direct the story, set in 2022, when a virus has eliminated the ability to fall in love.

Jeremy Irons and Jack Huston star in An Actor Prepares, which Content Media will be touting to international buyers. Steve Clark directs the father-son buddy comedy, which CAA represents for North America.

Radiant Films International has high hopes for Misfortune, a thriller to star John Cusack, Daniel Zovatto and Willa Fitzgerald. Lucky McKee directs the story of a desperate embezzler who goes up against three young friends who find his lost cash in the desert.

XYZ Films arrives with Anders Walter’ I Kill Giants, starring Zoe Saldana and Imogen Poots. The film, based on Joe Kelly’s graphic novel about a young misfit battling monsters real and imagined, is shooting now. Chris Columbus is on the producer roster and XYZ handles worldwide sales rights.

Fortitude International is talking up Android, starring Aaron Paul and Olga Kurylenko. Niall Johnson directs the film, which is about a man alone in space who finds himself trapped in a game of cat-and-mouse with his companion robots.

The Exchange brings Rebecca Ferguson-starrer The Lady And The Panda, which CAA represents in the US. Justin Chadwick directs and Laura Bickford and Michelle Qi produce the true story of a 1930s New York socialite who became the first person to bring a live giant panda from China to the world’s attention.

International Film Trust will be talking up The Party Crasher, about an evil entity that takes over a frat-house party. Michael Benaroya is producing with Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne. The film stars Shanley Caswell, Molly Tarlov, Jayson Blair, Jacob Artist, Ashton Moio and Cameron Moulene.

FilmSharks arrives with Inseparables, Marcos Carnevale’s Latin remake of French smash Intouchables. It stars Oscar Martinez, who won Venice’s best actor prize for The Distinguished Citizen.

Myriad Pictures represents international rights to Mushroom Pictures’ coming-of-age horror Boys In The Trees following its world premiere in Venice’s Horizons section. Toby Wallace, Gulliver McGrath and Mitzi Ruhlmann star in Australian director Nicholas Verso’s debut about teenage friends who embark on a precarious all-night trek on Halloween.

AMBI Distribution arrives with an as-yet-untitled Sarah Jessica Parker musical drama, in which a successful singer must deal with a life-changing diagnosis. AMBI Group is fully financing the film, which is scheduled to shoot this winter.

Toronto-based Double Dutch International commences talks on rom-com You, Me And Him starring Lucy Punch, Faye Marsay, David Tennant and Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners. Production was due to start in the US on October 31 on the story of a career woman and her hedonistic girlfriend who must re-examine their relationship after befriending a Casanova-type neighbour.

Mongrel International is in town with G.L.O (The Giant Little Ones) to star Maria Bello and Josh Wiggins. Keith Behrman directs the tale of high school best friends whose lifelong relationship takes an unexpected turn at a 16th birthday party.

Raven Banner Entertainment has horror film Dearest Sister directed by Mattie Do. The story centres on a Laotian village girl who travels to the capital, Vientiane, to care for a rich cousin who has lost her sight but gained the ability to communicate with the dead.

Bleiberg Entertainment will be talking up Coming Through The Rye, a coming-of-age tale about a youngster in 1969 who runs away to track down reclusive author JD Salinger. Alex Wolff and Chris Cooper star.

13 Films is starting talks on family adventure Four Kids And It, to star Michael Caine, Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode and Paula Patton. Shooting is scheduled to begin on November 14 on the adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s story about young children who encounter a magical wish-granter.

Boys In The Trees

Concourse Media handles worldwide sales to Grass Stains from Haven Entertainment and Bow & Arrow Entertainment. The drama about a teenager dealing with his conscience after a prank causes the death of his girlfriend’s older brother stars Tye Sheridan and Kaitlyn Dever. Kyle Wilamowski wrote and directed.

Electric Entertainment will be talking up worldwide rights to company founder Dean Devlin’s Bad Samaritan. David Tennant and Robert Sheehan star in the tale of car valets who burgle the wrong house.

The Little Film Company will kick off talks with worldwide buyers on Last Rampage: The Escape Of Gary Tison. The true crime thriller stars Robert Patrick and Heather Graham, and recounts an Arizona prison inmate’s breakout and violent spree. Dwight Little directs the film, currently in post-production.

Visit Films will be making its first concerted push on Maze, about the IRA prison breakout of 1983. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Barry Ward and Martin McCann star in writer-director Stephen Burke’s film, currently in post-production. Lionsgate for the UK and NonStop Entertainment for Scandinavia are among the buyers already confirmed.

Former Premiere Entertainment executive Jack Campbell’s new Octane Entertainment hits the market with This Is Your Death starring Josh Duhamel, Giancarlo Esposito and Famke Janssen. Esposito directs the story of a disturbing gameshow in which contestants end their lives for public enjoyment. Producer Great Point Media represents US rights.

Epic Pictures brings supernatural thriller The Lodgers, Brian O’Malley’s tale of a haunted family estate in Ireland where spirits are awakened by a young suitor’s advances. David Bradley from Game Of Thrones stars.

Pure Flix is seeking followers for The Case For Christ, its adaptation of Lee Strobel’s bestseller about an atheist reporter who sets out to prove Christianity is a cult and ends up feeling differently. The film will screen at the market and is set for a US launch in April in more than 1,200 theatres. Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen and Faye Dunaway star.

Montreal’s Seville International is in town talking up The Ashram, a spiritual thriller shot in India and starring Sam Keeley, Melissa Leo and Kal Penn. Ben Rekhi’s film is about a sceptical American who travels to the Himalayas to investigate his girlfriend’s disappearance and encounters a mysterious community.

VMI Worldwide will start talks on The Recall, starring Wesley Snipes and RJ Mitte. The action sci-fi was shot in the Barco Escape format, virtual reality and 4K. It follows five friends who must survive an alien invasion, and will open theatrically in the US in Barco-equipped theatres.

Shoreline Entertainment arrives with satirical rom-com It Had To Be You, about a neurotic jingle writer who must decide whether to get married or pursue her dreams. Chris Columbus serves as executive producer and the cast includes Cristin Milioti and Dan Soder. Samuel Goldwyn Films distributes in North America.

Spotlight Pictures founder and CEO Matt McCombs will be talking up Lies We Tell starring Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel. The story follows the driver of a recently deceased businessman who lands in hot water when he attempts to save the family legacy and cover up his late employer’s affairs. Mitu Misra makes his directorial debut on the film, which is in post-production.

Film Mode Entertainment will commence talks on The Gracefield Incident, about a video-game developer who embeds a phone camera in his prosthetic eye and records an alien invasion while on a weekend getaway with friends. Mathieu Ratthe directs and stars with Kimberly Laferriere, Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles, Juliette Gosselin and Alex C Nachi.

MPI Media Group arrives with The Stakelander, the sequel to cult post-apocalyptic film Stake Land. Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Laura Abramsen, AC Peterson and Bonnie Dennison star in the story about a battle between vampire armies.