Alison Thompson, co-president of Focus Features International (FFI), announced multi-territory sales on director Asif Kapadia’s (Senna, The Warrior) untitled documentary on five-time Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. FFI also saw strong sales on seven-time Academy Award-nominated writer/director Mike Leigh’s (Another Year, Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies) J.M.W. Turner film, which stars Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Secrets & Lies).
FFI has secured the following territories and respective distributors on behalf of Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary: France – Mars Films; Germany – Prokino; Benelux – Cineart; Greece – Odeon; Iceland – Sena; Israel – Lev Cinema; Middle East – Italia Film; Portugal – Lusomundo Audiovisuals; Turkey – D Productions; Hong Kong – Edko Films; India – PVR Limited; Singapore – Shaw Renters; Thailand – IPA Pacific; Australia/NZ – eOne; and South Africa – Ster-Kinekor. Focus Features International is currently fielding multiple offers for the UK, CIS, and Italy.
The untitled Amy Winehouse documentary is produced by James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop) through Playmaker Films, Gay-Rees and Kapadia’s new production entity and co-produced by Universal Music. Gay-Rees and Kapadia collaborated on the acclaimed documentary Senna, which won numerous awards including BAFTA Awards for Best Documentary and Editing in 2012.
For Mike Leigh’s latest, FFI has secured the following territories and respective distributors: Benelux – eOne; Greece – Odeon; Iceland – Sena; Israel – Lev Cinema; Portugal – Lusomundo Audiovisuals; Scandinavia – Svensk Filmindustri; Switzerland – Monopole Pathe; India – PVR Limited; Singapore – Shaw Renters; Thailand – IPA Pacific; Australia/NZ – Transmission Films; and South Africa – Ster-Kinekor. Previously announced partners who will distribute the film in their respective territories include France’s Diaphna; Germany’s Prokino and UK’s Momentum. Sony Pictures Classics has acquired rights for North America, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
The J.M.W. Turner project is produced by Georgina Lowe (Another Year) and executive-produced by Gail Egan (Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy, Another Year). Production partners on the film include Film4, British Film Institute, Focus Features International, Lipsync, and Ingenious (Xofa Productions). The project marks the second collaboration between Mike Leigh and FFI, following the critically acclaimed release of Another Year, for which FFI also handled worldwide sales and co-financed.
Further to previously announced sales Focus Features International has also closed Italy with Notorious for Academy Award and BAFTA-winning director Kevin Macdonald’s (Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) heist thriller Black Sea, starring two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, Anna Karenina), as well as Germany with Square One Entertainment for the psychological thriller Oculus, directed by Mike Flanagan.
The FFI slate also includes the true-life dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger, to be directed by Michael Cuesta and star Jeremy Renner; Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, starring Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett; Closed Circuit, the suspense thriller directed by John Crowley and starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall; and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ruairi Robinson’s thriller The Last Days on Mars starring Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, and Romola Garai, which world-premiered at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight.