Rebecca Wang Entertainment Presents ‘Passion Play’
U.S. Distribution rights acquired by Image Entertainment
As the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) draws to a close, more films have been snapped up by distributors in the United States. This year’s festival has run from September 9th to 19th in Toronto, Canada.
Image Entertainment took U.S. rights for ‘Passion Play’, which closed on Sunday and is valued at more than seven figures. The Canadian distribution was picked up by Entertainment One. The fantasy-drama is produced by Megan Ellison and executive produced by Rebecca Wang. The film starring Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray narrates a story of a jazz trumpeter who falls in love with Lily (Megan Fox), a circus sideshow attraction.
Mike Mills’ romantic comedy- drama ‘Beginners’, starring Ewan McGregor, was bought by Focus Features. The distributor attained worldwide rights excluding Canada, France, Australia, Scandinavia and Benelux. Beginners was produced by Olympus whose second film which was shown at the festival, ‘Rabbit Hole’, was acquired by Lionsgate. Nicole Kidman’s performance in Rabbit Hole as a grieving mother and wife has received much acclaim from critics and the studio is looking to release the film before end of the year.
Lionsgate was also the joint-buyer of Will Ferrell’s ‘Everything Must Go’ with Roadside Attractions. The comedy-drama directed by Dan Rush, narrates the story about an alcoholic who attempts to reform and start his life over.
IFC Films obtained two movies at the festival. Barry W. Blaustein’s comedy-drama ‘Peep World’ and Jalmari Helander‘s fantasy action-comedy ‘Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale’ were both acquired by the U.S. distributor. A Christmas Tale narrates a story about evil Santa Claus in the Finnish Lapland while Peep World tells the story about four siblings who are struggling to cope after the release of a novel which was written by their youngest sibling.
TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. Its vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image. TIFF generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD and currently employs more than 100 full-time staff and 500 part-time and seasonal staff, and counts upon the largesse of over 2,000 volunteers year-round.
Founded in 1976, the TIFF is now one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. In 1998, Variety magazine acknowledged that "the Festival is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity." In 2007, Time noted that the festival had "grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period." This is partially the result of the festival's reputation and ability to generate "Oscar-buzz".