FilmNation has taken overseas rights to Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, which Sony Pictures Classics bought early on at the Sundance Film Festival. Michael Shannon stars opposite Jessica Chastain as a man haunted by his dreams who obsessively starts building a storm shelter in his backyard. But what he can’t tell those closest to him is what he really is afraid his dreams signify. Ad Vitam has already come on board for France. FilmNation will begin selling in earnest at Cannes.
… ARC Entertainment and XLrator Media Partnership have also taken U.S. rights to John Carpenter’s The Ward, the cult director’s first feature since the late 90s. Amber Heard (Drive Angry 3D), Mamie Gummer (Off the Map) and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) star in this shocker set in a 60s mental institution terrorised by malevolent forces. Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding of Echo Lake Entertainment (Tsotsi) produce along with Peter Block of A Bigger Boat. XLrator negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Echo Lake’s Andy Spaulding. FilmNation is handling overseas.
… And Blue Lake Entertainment Fund, an “8-figure” fund launched by Echo Lake Entertainment and Canadian financier Blue Ice Entertainment, is to finance projects on the books of Paris-based sales agent Celluloid Dreams. Blue Lake will finance projects budgeted over $10 million by proven directors with global appeal. Celluloid Dreams has a reputation of being one of the toniest sales agents in Europe, having in the past worked with directors Michael Haneke, Jacques Audiard and Francois Ozon. Celluloid Dreams CEO Hengamah Panahi said: ”What the market needs more than anything is exceptional films. Good is no longer enough.”
… ATO has acquired North American rights to Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Woman In the Fifth from sales agent Memento Films International. Ethan Hawke plays a writer who comes to Paris to be closer to his young daughter who’s living with his French ex-wife. Then he gets involved with Kristin Scott Thomas’s beautiful, mysterious widow. ATO plans on releasing Film4 and UK Film Council backed project later this year.