Cannes 2011: Acquisitions keep going; SLEEPING BEAUTY, LOOPER, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut all find homes

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
May 15th, 2011

As the Cannes Film Festival winds on, the buying news just keeps rolling out - from big buzz titles showing at the festival, to upcoming films just finding homes for release. Today comes word on distribution for SLEEPING BEAUTY, LOOPER, and Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY.

Deadline breaks the news that Julia Leigh's SLEEPING BEAUTY has been picked up by IFC's Sundance Selects. Going into the festival, the film, starring Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie, Peter Carroll, and Chris Haywood, with a "presented by" bill from Jane Campion, was one of the festival's most anticipated titles. Upon its premiere, reactions have been mixed, but it sounds like, at the very least, it's a film that carries both an outstanding performance from Browning and a bold announcement of a new directorial talent to watch in Leigh. For more on the film, check out our good friend James Rocchi's review over at The Playlist.

Deadline also reports that Angelina Jolie's directorial debut has picked up both an official title (IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY) and a distributor (FilmDistrict). The film is Jolie's first crack at directing, and it's been accompanied by its fair share of controversy. Set in Bosnia in the '90s, the film "illustrates the consequences of the lack of political will to intervene in a society stricken with conflict."

Most of IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY is made up of locals, and "Jolie shot the film simultaneously in English and their native language, which was called Serbo-Croatian and is now referred to as BHS." The film will release on December 23.

In other FilmDistrict news, the distributor has released an official statement after much chatter that they were picking up Rian Johnson's LOOPER. FilmDistrict will indeed release the film, in a partnership with Endgame Entertainment. FilmDistrict will release the film in the U.S. as part of their relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Tri Star label. PeterSchlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict, commented, “We have been chasing LOOPER for six months and it is something my entire team agreed would be a great film for us to distribute. The fact that our friends at Sony feel the same makes it even more exciting.”

Johnson's heavily anticipated next film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt. A time travel film with a sci-fi bent it's a step in a different direction for Johnson, who previously made such beloved indies BRICK and THE BROTHERS BLOOM.

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