Celluloid Dreams has acquired world sales rights (excluding Australia and New Zealand) to Oz pic Babyteeth, which will star Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One) and Essie Davis (The Babadook). Production is due to get underway this summer on the Screen Australia-backed movie which is set to be directed by first-timer Shannon Murphy. Pic is being produced by Alex White and executive produced by Jan Chapman (The Piano). The bittersweet comedy charts the story of a couple who realize their seriously ill teenage daughter has fallen in love with a drug dealer. Celluloid Dreams will be selling in Cannes. Entertainment One will release in Australia/New Zealand.
Ivanhoe Pictures is teaming up with Ho Chi Minh City and L.A.-based Pacific Horizon Pictures to co-finance and co-produce a slate of local-language films in Vietnam, including a remake of the Indian survival drama Trapped. Ivanhoe and Pacific Horizon are also closing on the joint acquisition for the Vietnamese remake rights to the popular Colombian thriller The Hidden Face. Pacific Horizon is a startup production company founded by Louie Nguyen, investor and producer at HK Films and by veteran U.S. producer Rick Ambros. Ivanhoe’s upcoming projects include the Warner Bros. co-production Crazy Rich Asians, produced with Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, and the 3-part Netflix series Ghoul, a Hindi-language thriller produced by Ivanhoe, Blumhouse Productions, and Phantom Films set to premiere on Netflix India in 2018. Early last year Ivanhoe merged with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment to create SK Global, led by President John Penotti. Ivanhoe has a four-year, multi-picture co-financing pact with Fox International Productions (FIP) to produce local-language films in India, South Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan; a partnership with Blumhouse and Mumbai-based Phantom; and a deal with Blumhouse and Seoul-based distributor Showbox to make six Korean genre movies over the next five years. Local-Language hits for the firm in Korea include The Wailing from director Na Hong-jin.
A blockchain Netflix? U.S. outfit Slate Entertainment Group (SEG) is launching under the aegis of startup consultant Michael Moyal, with the aim of becoming a blockchain structured VOD platform (‘Binge’) and electronic ticketing service (‘Slatix’) which use cryptocurrency (‘Slate’). According to the firm, the former will “introduce an industry-first business model of equitable compensation based on complete economic transparency,” including of data, while Slatix is being developed as is a tokenized ticket app that will provide forgery resistant event tickets. The latter will include a curated ratings-and-reviews system with repeat users earning loyalty rewards and discounts to movies, concerts, plays, and sporting events. Both platforms are in the development stage. Industry advisors to the firm include US sales and production outfit XYZ.