Category Archives: Cannes Film Festival
Squareone Entertainment has acquired German rights and partnered with Telepool on the historical drama “The Imitation Game,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.
Morten Tyldum directed the film from Graham Moore’s script, based on Andrew Hodges’ biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma” about the British mathematician and cryptographer who played a key role in cracking the Nazi party’s Enigma code during World War II.
Currently in post-production, the film also stars Matthew Goode, Charles Dance and Mark Strong.
Producers are Teddy Schwarzman of Black Bear Pictures and Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky of Bristol Automotive, with Peter Heslop co-producing.
FilmNation is handling international rights at Cannes.
The acquisition deal was negotiated by Al Munteanu for SquareOne Entertainment and by FilmNation Entertainment.
For nearly seven decades, top talent has descended on the Croisette for splashy parties and black-tie movie premieres. But in the past couple years, more and more actors and directors have been arriving in Cannes, Berlin and AFM for equally star-studded events before a frame of their films has been shot, simply to persuade buyers to get their projects into theaters — or even off the ground.
The rebounding world economy, a glut of films, packages with top talent falling through and skeptical buyers have combined to make elaborate presales events and presentations a far more important step in getting films made. This trend has shaped the marketplace in many ways, leading to greater costs for sellers and greater creative input from buyers as films are taking shape…
While sellers occasionally show extended post-production footage to boost presales, creating the 15-minute reel on the Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game” was “more like cutting a short film,” says FilmNation’s Baker.
The reel excised subplots and focused on the film’s WWII-era section, which featured star Benedict Cumberbatch’s most powerful moments.
“We knew we had this incredible performance from Benedict, and Keira (Knightley) for that matter, so we tried to cut something with an awards feel, showcasing the emotional arc of the characters. It was about our buyers having an emotional response”
The gambit worked — the Weinstein Co. bought U.S. rights for a whopping $7 million.