Cannes: Top French Filmmaker Olivier Assayas to Make First U.S. Film

Lucas Shaw
The Wrap

Olivier Assayas will direct "Hubris"-- the first time the award-winning French filmmaker will make a movie in the U.S., producers CG Cinema, Bluegrass Film, Emjag Productions and Film360 announced on Wednesday. Assayas directed "Irma Vep" and the widely praised miniseries "Carlos" about international terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

He will shoot this movie in 2014 , after he completes "Sils Maria."

Based on Hillel Levin's 2007 Playboy article, "Hubris" is a based-on-real-life thriller about a group of thieves who end up at odds with a legendary Chicago crime boss after robbing a pawn shop.

Developed with Orange Studios and Frederiqur Dumas, the project brings together several prominent American producers. Scott Stuber's Bluegrass has made recent comedy hits "Ted" and 'Identity Thief," while Emjag's Alexandra Milchan is executive-producing the Martin Scrosese's upcoming "Wolf of Wall Street."

Film 360, the production arm of talent management company Management 360, is producing the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic being written by Aaron Sorkin.

"Olivier Assayas is one of the most dynamic filmmakers on the global film scene," the producers said in a statement. "His previous films including 'Summer Hours' and the groundbreaking miniseries 'Carlos' have been masterpieces, and we are all extremely honored to be in his company."

Cannes: Sundance Selects Takes Award-Winning Filmmaker's 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' 

Sundance Selects has acquired domestic distribution rights to "Blue Is the Warmest Color," the latest film from award-winning Tunisian filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche, the company announced on Wednesday.

Kechiche's film stars Lea Seydoux, one of the most promising young actresses out of France who has both won awards in her native country and starred in well-received English-language films like "Inglorious Basterds" and "Midnight in Paris."

The film chronicles a precocious teenage girl named Adele, who wants to find her true love and believes she has when she meets Thomas. Yet her relationship with Thomas ends before it really begins, and Adele soon discovers that she is attracted to women. So begins a tryst with a blue-haired woman.

Kechiche and Ghalya Lacroix co-wrote the film, which made its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this week. Sundance Selects sister label IFC Films distributed Kechiche's last film, "Secrets of the Grain," which won several Cesar Awards, the top honor in France.

"Abdellatif Kechiche has made a stunning and provocative drama with two breakout performances.  We are excited for the opportunity to work with him and our friends at Wild Bunch again," Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring said in a statement.

Sundance Selects with Wild Bunch, which represented the rights and produced the film alongside Alcatrax Films and Quat'Sous Films.  

Vertical Entertainment Acquires Russian Animated Movie 'The Snow Queen'


Vertical Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to "The Snow Queen," a 3D animated feature based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale. Maxim Sveshnikov and Vlad Barbe directed the film from a script Barbe co-wrote with Vadim Sveshnikov.

The film already opened in Russia and in December 2012, grossing more than $ 9 million. It has also opened in Brazil, Ukraine, South Korea, Israel, Turkey, UA, Latvia Lithuania and Estonia.

A sequel has been planned for 2014. Peter Jarowey of Vertical made the deal with WME.

"Wizart's talented animation team brought to life an amazing story that transcends generations," Vertical Entertainment's Rich Goldberg said in a statement. "The animation is spectacular and one of the best we saw at the market. We are fortunate to have closed the deal at Cannes and have the opportunity to bring the film stateside."

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