February 9, 2014
The first international distribution deals for Tim Winton’s The Turning have been concluded at the Berlin Film Festival, while 52 Tuesdays has found a US distributor.
Also, Shoreline Entertainment has acquired international sales rights to The Infinite Man, a time-travel romantic comedy from first-time director Hugh Sullivan.
Russian Report (Russia/CIS), FilmFreak Distribution (Benelux) and Cinesky Pics (world airlines) bought The Turning before its gala screening in Berlin on Sunday night.
Sales agent LevelK began the international sales campaign for the film starring Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Miranda Otto, Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving, in Berlin.
“Commendably ambitious and clocking in at three hours, this unwieldy portmanteau pic boasts a handful of standout contributions — none more striking than the writing-directing debut of actress Mia Wasikowska — amid a surfeit of gauchely literal ones in a composite meditation on forgiveness, family, firearms and the persistence of memory,” said Variety reviewer Guy Lodge.
“Nothing if not a conversation piece, speckled with such famous faces as Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Rose Byrne, The Turning has been successfully marketed Down Under as a full-scale cultural event; away from home, it’s destined more for isolated repertory screenings, while its patchwork format is ideally suited to ancillary.”
Kino Lorber acquired US rights to Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays and will release the film on about 30 screens nationwide in the second half of the year.
Hyde tells IF the distributor hopes the film will play in about 50 cities in all. An early May launch in Australia is being planned. “In Oz we have been working on the release ourselves through our company Closer Screens,” she says. “We may partner with someone though as there are discussions, and we are working closely with a few key cinemas, especially Cinema Nova.”
New York-based Visit Films closed deals with Kino Lorber and with Edko (Hong Kong) and Switzerland (Praesens) before the film’s European premiere in the Berlinale’s Generation 14plus program. Kino Lorber is distributing Kim Mordaunt’s The Rocket in the US.
Richard Lorber, chairman and CEO of Kino Lorber, hailed the film as courageous and a work of “bold and innovative cinematic structure.”
Hyde won the best director award in the World Cinema Competition at the Sundance festival. Shot chronologically on one day every week for a year, the drama follows 16-year-old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) as she struggles with the revelation that her mother, Jane (Del Herbert-Jane), is beginning the long and taxing process of becoming a transgender man.
The Hollywood Reporter reviewer David Rooney said, “The sensitively observed drama is distinguished by its structurally adventurous approach and the intimacy of its storytelling.
“Full of touching moments even if its emotional rewards remain somewhat muted, 52 Tuesdays feels highly personal and is never less than absorbing or sincere in its depiction of a non-traditional family navigating difficult changes.”
The Infinite Man stars Josh McConville, Hannah Marshall and Alex Dimitriades in the tale of a scientist whose attempts to construct the perfect romantic weekend backfire when he traps his lover in an eternal loop.
Kate Croser and Sandy Cameron of South Australian-based Hedone Productions produced the film, which is premiering at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, next month.