TIFF: The Acquisitions Wrap-Up Report
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is almost over with the awards to be announced later today, but its status as a film market has been solidified by a number of acquisitions reported over the past few days as some of the festival’s premieres have been scooped up by a variety of distributors.
Ned Benson’s two-part work-in-progress film The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her, starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, essentially two movies telling the male and female perspective on a marriage on the skids, was picked up by The Weinstein Company shortly after its TIFF premiere.
The Weinstein Company also picked up distribution rights to Jonathan Teplitzky’s historic drama The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, and Can A Song Save Your Life?, the new movie from John Carney (Once), starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, all presumably for release in 2014.
Fairly early in the festival, Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, the dark comedy Bad Words went to Focus Features after a small bidding war. CBS Films picked up Michael Dowse’s romantic comedy The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, as we reported earlier.
Ti West’s The Sacrament, his take on the Jonestown cult massacre starring AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg, was picked up by Magnolia Pictures, who released West’s last two features, House of the Devil and The Innkeepers.
IFC Midnight picked up the “Midnight Madness” hit thriller The Station from German filmmaker Benjamin Hessler about a group of scientists who find a strange red liquid within a glacier in the Alps.
Following the rave reviews for his mystery-thriller Prisoners, French-Canadien filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s earlier film, the more experimental Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal in a dual role, was picked up for distribution by A24.
Several weeks after author Elmore Leonard’s death, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions jumped on the distribution rights to Life of Crime, a prequel to his novel “Rum Punch,” which had been adapted into Jackie Brown by Quentin Tarantino. Written and directed by Dan Schechter, this one stars Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and Tim Robbins.
Roadside Attractions also will distribute Clive Owen’s new romantic drama Words and Pictures, which teams him with Juliet Binoche and director Fred Schepisi (Roxanne).
Josh Waller’s crime-thriller McCanick, starring David Morse, Mike Vogel and the late Cory Monteith was picked up by Well Go USA, while the French drama Bright Days Ahead was picked up by Tribeca Film before it even had its Toronto premiere.
There are still a number of movies that premiered at TIFF hoping to find distribution like Daniel Radcliffe’s well-received Horns and we might hear of a couple more acquisitions before the weekend is over.