EXCLUSIVE: With the AFM wrapped late last week, IM Global is reporting robust sales despite what many considered to be a lackluster market. Stuart Ford’s Reliance-backed production, financing and sales company had what Ford says was one of the strongest AFMs in IM Global’s 7.5 year history. The success is part of a strategy of building relationships and a profile in growth markets like Latin America and Asia — bringing filmmakers to market to speak directly to buyers doesn’t hurt either.
The company had one of the more sought-after titles at the Loews in The Free State Of Jones. Gary Ross’ epic wartime action romance that stars Matthew McConaughey was presented to buyers on the first day of the market by Ross and producer Scott Stuber, as well as Adam Fogelson and Oren Aviv of STX which is distributing in the U.S.
Ford closed deals on Free State Of Jones with significant offshore distributors including Studiocanal in the UK and Australia; Metropolitan in France; RAI Cinema in Italy; Elevation in Canada; Leda Films in Latin America; Dea Planeta in Spain; Impuls in Switzerland; United King in Israel; Joy n Contents in Korea and Thailand; and Nu Metro in South Africa.
IM Global also launched international sales on Antoine Fuqua’s The Man Who Made It Snow, a reteam for the director with star Jake Gyllenhaal. The crime thriller is the first feature from the production partnership between IM Global and Fuqua Films. Fuqua met with key international distributors which helped propel sales. EOne took the UK, Spain and Canada; TF1 Video bought France, and Universum was a taker in Germany. Other deals closed in Switzerland (Impuls); Israel (United King); Latin America (Sun); South Africa (M-Net); Hong Kong (Bravos); Korea and Thailand (Joy n Contents); and Taiwan (Applause).
After being announced at Cannes, Billy Ray’s The Secret In Their Eyes with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, begins production in January. A major multi-territory deal was closed with Universal for the UK, Germany, France and Benelux. Further deals were closed in Australia (Roadshow); Italy (Good Films); Spain (Inopia); and Latin America (Sun), among others.
Domestic deals on The Man Who Made It Snow and The Secret In Their Eyes are taking form while The Free State Of Jones and The Man Who Made It Snow are also in negotiations on additional territories.
Also during the AFM, IM Global’s Mundial label inaugurated a three-way exclusive output and production partnership with Latin America’s Alex Garcia via his AG Studios, and Itaca. Mundial launched sales on three Itaca Mexico co-productions, Love Of My Life (Amor De Mis Amores); Change Of Heart (Cambio De Ruta), and Laying Low (Volando Bajo).
The company’s foreign language arm, Anthem, launched sales on the 3D Mandarin language fantasy epic The Ghouls which is set for 2015 and financed by China’s Wanda Media, Huayi Brothers, and Enlight. The Anthem division also continued sales on Breakup Buddies, the blockbuster Chinese road-trip comedy that has now grossed over $188M in the Middle Kingdom. IM Global has the remake rights to the buddy road trip comedy.