Sony Pictures Classics acquired the Paul Verhoeven-directed Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert. Pic plays in competition at Cannes.

Films Distribution has acquired international sales rights to Pablo Berger’s latest film Abracadabra and has boarded as co-producer with French production company Noodles Production. The comedy centers on Carmen (Maribel Verdú), a working-class neighborhood housewife who discovers that her husband Carlos (Antonio de la Torre) is possessed by a spirit. She tries to get him back with the help of her cousin Pepe (Jose Mota) who is a fan of hypnotism. Ibon Cormenzana is producing via Aracadia Motion Pictures, who produced Berger’s Blancanieves. Sony Pictures will distribute in Spain.

Summerland ProjectLightning Entertainment has promoted company veteran Mathilde Epstein to Head Of Sales, up from VP. Among Lightning’s sales titles on offer is the sci-fi romance The Summerland Project, about a desperate husband who is given the chance to save his wife by having her mind transplanted into an artificial body. Angela Billman, Ben Whitehair, Ed Begley Jr, Kate Vernon and Eddie Jemison star. It’s in post and Lightning is repping international rights.