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Cannes 2017: TV series gain wider acceptance

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a three-part roundup of key industry news from the annual Cannes Film Festival, which took place May 17 to May 28 in Cannes, France. Part 1 covered European markets, part 2 was about the Asia-Pacific region, and today part 3: the U.S.

Film companies and producers from the U.S. were among the busiest players at the recent Cannes Film Festival competition, as well as the Cannes film market.

Academy Award winner Sofia Coppola won the best director award for "The Beguiled," while Joaquin Phoenix bagged the best actor award for "You Were Never Really Here." Distributed by Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Studios, the latter also bagged the best screenplay prize for Lynne Ramsay, tied with Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for "The Killing of a Sacred Deer."

SNL Image

A still from Lynne Ramsay's "You Were Never Really Here."
Credit: WhyNot Productions

One notable attraction at this year's festival was the inclusion of two TV series: Showtime (US)'s "Twin Peaks" revival and SundanceTV (US)/BBC Two (UK)'s "Top of the Lake: China Girl." The shows are from Palme d'Or-winning directors David Lynch and Jane Campion, respectively.

Cannes usually does not accept screenings of TV series, but organizers made an exception for the two shows.

However, while TV gained wider acceptance from festival organizers, U.S. streaming services did not receive the same treatment.

The inclusion of Netflix films "Okja" and "The Meyerowitz Stories: New and Selected" in the main competition section drew strong opposition from the guild of French theatrical exhibitors.

As a result, festival organizers updated the event's rules from 2018 onward that makes it mandatory for films to be released in French theaters for entry into the competition.

Meanwhile, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Classics went on a buying spree, acquiring North American rights to Stanley Tucci's "Final Portrait," starring Geoffrey Rush and Armie Hammer, and Peter Landesman's "The Silent Man," starring Liam Neeson.

The studio also bagged North American and Latin American rights to Andrey Zvyagintsev's Jury Prize-winning "Loveless," as well as rights in North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Europe to Chloe´ Zhao's "The Rider."

STX has picked up international rights to "All the Money in the World," a true-crime thriller from Ridley Scott based on the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III. Sony Pictures is handling North American and U.K. distribution of the film.

The Orchard Enterprises Inc. acquiring worldwide rights to Archie Borders' "Under the Eiffel Tower," starring Matt Walsh and Judith Godrèche, and North American rights to Deniz Gamze Ergüven's L.A. riots drama "Kings," starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

The Orchard also acquired U.S. distribution rights to France's Robin Campillo's "120 Battements Par Minute," which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes.

"A Stork's Journey," a 3D animated film, will launch on all platforms in the U.S. on June 30, following deals with Lionsgate Entertainment, Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. and Grindstone Entertainment.

SNL Image

A still from Bong Joon-ho's "Okja."
Credit: Netflix

Netflix Inc. is said to have bagged the rights to stop-motion animated film "Bubbles," about Michael Jackson's pet chimpanzee, for just less than $20 million.

Global subscription video-on-demand service MUBI has acquired the U.S., U.K. and Ireland rights on French auteur Philippe Garrel's "Lover for a Day," which premiered at Cannes' Directors' Fortnight.

Meanwhile, talent agency CAA launched an initial $150 million film fund in partnership with China's Bona Film Group. The fund will target U.S.-China co-productions, as well as Chinese-language films for local release and English-language films for global release. Roland Emmerich's war film "Midway" will be the first to benefit from the fund.

Film producers and distributors the Solution Entertainment Group and VMI Worldwide joined forces to launch a new video-on-demand genre group, tasked with developing genre films slated for the VOD market. Both companies will remain separate entities.

Former Lionsgate/Summit executive Brad Kembel launched OARA, a new film reporting tool, in partnership with Jochen Hesse, founder of film auditor RevCheck and media lawyer Jobst Upmeier. OARA offers reporting gross receipts and distribution costs, among others, which can be used by distributors and rights holders.