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Cannes 2017: Record attendance despite controversy, security concerns

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Cannes 2017: Record attendance despite controversy, security concerns

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a three-part roundup of key industry news announced at the annual Cannes Film Festival, which took place May 17 to May 28 in Cannes, France. Part 1 covers European markets, part 2 will focus on Asia-Pacific and part 3 is about the U.S. Today: Part 1.

European films, Netflix Inc. and distribution deals dominated the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which was marked by security concerns following the suicide bombing at a Manchester, U.K., concert that left 22 people dead.

Controversy erupted when French theater owners protested the inclusion of two Netflix movies in Cannes' prestigious competition section, following which the festival organizers banned movies not released theatrically in France from the competition. This sparked a lively debate at the festival over the role of streaming technology in cinema.

SNL ImageA still from Ruben Östlund's Palme d'Or winner "The Square."
Credit: Premier

Swedish director Ruben Östlund won the Palme d'Or for art-world satire "The Square," while France's Robin Campillo won the Grand Prix for his AIDS-themed film "120 Battements Par Minute."

Other notable winners were "Loveless" from Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, which scooped the jury prize, and coming-of-age drama "Jeune Femme" by French filmmaker Léonor Serraille, which won the Camera d'Or.

Amid the celebrations, controversies and security concerns, the festival's film market Marché du Film saw a record attendance of 12,234. There were 3,820 films on sale. In all, 910 films, including 710 premieres, were showcased, with a total of nearly 1,500 screenings.

Altitude Film Entertainment Ltd. unit Altitude Distribution picked up Palme d'Or competitor "Loveless" for distribution in the U.K. and Ireland, while also snapping up U.K. rights to Sean Baker's drama "The Florida Project."

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, a unit of Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment, clinched multiregion rights for British director and screenwriter Amma Asante's mixed-race World War II drama "Where Hands Touch." The rights exclude some European countries.

France's Pathé International inked a multiterritory rights deal with Focus for Lenny Abrahamson's chiller "The Little Stranger." Pathé will also distribute Paolo Sorrentino's upcoming film on Silvio Berlusconi, "Loro," in France and Switzerland.

Rights for "Loro" were sold to DCM for Germany, Dea Planeta for Spain, Belga for Benelux, Gutek for Poland, Feelgood for Greece, AONE for the Russian Commonwealth, Aero Films for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Mozinet for Hungary and LEV for Isreal.

Dany Boon's upcoming film "Une Jolie Ch'tite Famille" secured presales deals with Concorde in Germany, Rai Cinema in Italy, Tripictures in Spain, Feelgood in Greece, Kinoswiat in Poland, Paradiso in Netherland. The film goes into production next month and is scheduled for release on Feb. 28, 2018, in France (Pathé), Belgium (Alternative) and Switzerland (Pathé).

French director Yvan Attal's "Le Brio" was sold to SquareOne in Germany, Njuta in Scandinavia, AZ films in Canada and Pandora in Brazil, while his compatriot Gilles de Maistre's documentary "The Quest of Alain Ducasse" will be distributed in Greece by Feelgood.

China's Hishow Entertainment obtained Chinese rights for French production company Gaumont SA's "Christmas & Co." and "Gaston."

Italian content sales company True Colours, on the other hand, secured rights deals for Sergio Castellitto's drama "Fortunata," part of Cannes' Un Certain Regard section. The film will be distributed, among others, in Bulgaria, France, Greece and Hungary. True Colours also opened Turkish director Ferzan Özpetek's "Naples in Veins" for pre-sales.

SNL ImageA poster for Jonas Carpignano's "A Ciambra."
Credit: Premier

On May 23, AMC Networks Inc.-owned IFC secured North American rights to Jonas Carpignano's Italian-language film "A Ciambra," which premiered at the Cannes directors' fortnight. British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha's drama "Viceroy's House" also scored a U.S. deal with IFC.

London-based HanWay Films sold all U.K. rights for Takashi Miike's "Blade of the Immortal" to Arrow Films, which plans to release the movie later this year. The samurai epic is part of Hanway's roster at Cannes' official selection.

Cité Films, meanwhile, signed rights deals for its Un Certain Regard drama "The Desert Bride," which will be shown in the Benelux countries, Greece, Spain and Switzerland.

Sony Pictures Worldwide AcquisitionsTrust Nordisk sold Swiss director Petra Volpe's drama "The Divine Order" to companies in Benelux countries, France, Poland, Spain and former Yugoslavian countries.

Also, StudioCanal, a unit of Vivendi SA's Canal Plus SA, presented a restored version of Luis Buñuel's "Belle de Jour" in 4K as part of this year's Cannes Classics. The film will be released in theaters across Britain, France and Germany, as well as on DVD.