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.

-ENDS-

About TIFF:
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".

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Rebecca Wang is an entrepreneur, executive film producer and former psychotherapist who is passionate about all forms of artistic expression. She is also keen in her desire to bring effective support to projects focusing on health and humanitarian issues. Wang spent her early years in Asia, and has since lived in the US and Europe. Having graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, she has practiced at various leading institutions such as the University of Californian as well as several elementary schools, specializing in family, children, and couples counseling. It was the realization of the healing role of the arts in therapy, which was the catalyst for her to pursue her own creative dreams through filmmaking. Inspired to expand the reach of her work, in 2011 she made her production debut as executive producer with the Hollywood feature film Passion Play, which was selected for the prestigious 37th International Toronto Film Festival. Passion Play starred BAFTA winner Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray, both of whom had been previously nominated for Academy Awards. Wang is based in London where her appreciation of all arts is channeled into a wide range of leading organisations and arts venues in the capital. She is member of the Academy Circle for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), a Director of Circle for the Victoria and Albert Museum, and patron to the National, Tate Modern and Serpentine Galleries. Recognising the power of music’s properties for healing has led her to be a patron to the Royal College of Music. She also has a broad interest in design, photography and fashion. In addition to her passion for all art forms, she is also committed to projects that focus on health and humanitarian issues and the global efforts against AIDS, supporting two of the foremost charities in this field. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which was established by the musician in 1992, is one of the largest privately-funded institutions in the world working to overcome AIDS. Since its beginning the Foundation has prioritized the pivotal areas of treatment, prevention and education, and raised over $300 million to support more than 1,200 projects world-wide. Wang has been benefactor over two consecutive years (2011, 2012) to the EJAF’s Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, the most high-profile and largest fundraising event held in Hollywood on Oscar night. In 2014 and 2015 she has resumed her support as patron for the event, a position she also held for their New York Enduring Vision benefit in October 2013. This event recognizes outstanding contribution in the campaign against AIDS and in 2013 honored Hilary Clinton with the Founder’s Award for her tireless work in the field. amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, plays a leading global role in the area of research, treatment and education for AIDS. It attracts and fosters support and ongoing patronage from many leading public figures in the fields of film, fashion and music, including the late Elizabeth Taylor, Karl Lagerfeld and David Bowie. The non-profit organization can also count on endorsement from those whose actions carry global influence, such as former US President Bill Clinton. With Piaget and M.A.C Viva Glam, Wang acted as a sponsor for the 2012 Paris Inspiration Gala. She has also joined with others including amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole as Chairs for both the Los Angeles and New York Inspiration Galas in 2013 and 2014. Among those who have received awards at these events to honor their long term work and committed stance towards AIDS have been Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, philanthropist Aileen Getty, fashion legend Valentino, actress Goldie Hawn, singer Jennifer Lopez, and film director and designer Tom Ford. Beyond the worlds of arts and humanitarian issues, Wang also has genuine concern for animals, particularly for dogs who have been maltreated, and supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The RSPCA is the oldest organization for animal welfare in the world and since its foundation in 1824 has played an active role in both the creation of animal welfare legislation and in its enforcement. Rebecca continues to focus on ventures reflecting creativity across all art forms and initiatives which further her desire for a greater understanding of humanitarian issues. www.rebeccawangentertainment.com

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