Friday, September 18, 2009

Studio Acquistions from TIFF

Over the past two weeks the Toronto International Film Festival has been going on (sadly with me sitting here in L.A.) and over the last week a handful of studios have purchased distributing rights to a number highly praised films screening in Toronto. For a full breakdown of what has been picked up and by whom, scroll down...

First up, IFC has acquired U.S. distributing rights to Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising". The film which follows a mute viking warrior premiered at TIFF and also at the Venice Film Festival this month to a decent amount of buzz. Refn's previous directing duties include "Bronson" set to finally release here in the States in October in a limited engagement. Refn also recently signed on to update Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for Universal Pictures. IFC intends to give "Valhalla Rising" a 2010 release date. No confirmation of whether IFC will also release the film concurrently on their IFC OnDemand as well.

The second major pick up at TIFF was The Weinstein Company grabbing U.S. and German distributing rights to Tom Ford's directorial debut, "A Single Man". TWC intends to do a very quick turn around on 'Man' and release it later this year. (Many have speculated that the TWC date shift of "Youth in Revolt" to 2010 is connected with the purchase of "A Single Man"). The film stars Colin Firth as a English professor who, after the sudden death of his partner tries to go about his typical day in Los Angeles circa 1962. TWC edged out Focus Features and Miramax Films purchasing "A Single Man" between the $1 to $2 million dollar range.

Last, but certainly not least, Sony has purchased "Defendor" starring Woody Harrelson. "Defendor" is an indie super hero film without the super and has had a solid buzz seeping from TIFF. Directed by Peter Stebbings "Defendor" follows a man (Harrelson) who is under the delusion that he is a superhero and sets out on a series of adventures to protect a crime-beset city. Unfortunately, no time table was given for a release.

More on all of these films and other films seeking distribution from TIFF as they develop...


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