RTIndie: TIFF Acquisitions Include Controversial, Political Films

by Tim Ryan | Wednesday, Sep. 12 2007

This week in RTIndie, we have a roundup of the some key indie acquisitions from the Toronto Film festival. Also, our DVD Pick of the week spotlights the latest from a legend of the French New Wave.

TIFF Acquisition Roundup: Nothing is Private, The Visitor

According to the trades, this Toronto Film Festival it's been a relatively light on the distribution deal front. But several of the fest's more talked-about movies recently got purchased, and will hopefully find their way to a theater near you soon.

One of Toronto's most controversial selections is the Alan Ball (Six Feet Under)-helmed Nothing is Private, starring Aaron Eckhart, Toni Collette, and newcomer Summer Bishil. It's the dark story of an Arab-American teenager who suffers abuse from her family members and her neighbor, a racist Army reserve officer. Warner Independent and Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment picked up the movie for about $1.25 million.


Tom McCarthy on the set of The Station Agent

Tom McCarthy's The Visitor was picked up by Overture Films, a new indie distributor, for $1 million. The Visitor is McCarthy's follow-up to 2003's The Station Agent; it tells the story of a middle-aged man who acts as the liaison between a Syrian musician he has befriended and the man's family.

In addition, the Weinstein Co. announced the pre-festival purchase of The King of the Hill, a Spanish thriller about a man and a woman lost in a remote rural area. And Lumina Films nabbed Heavy Metal in Baghdad, a documentary about a hard rock band

For RT's complete coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival, click here.

RTIndie DVD Pick of the Week: Private Fears in Public Places

The latest from Left Bank filmmaker Alain Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad) was quite the festival attraction. For American audiences, the bonus of watching Lambert Wilson (The Matrix Reloaded's Merovingian) act forlorn and speak in his native tongue is a pretty solid incentive to commit to this two-hour French confection. Involving a cast of strangely whimsical, emotionally awkward people, Private Fears in Public Places tracks these lonely city dwellers in their respective stations in society as they bump into each other and occasionally find warmth together against the backdrop of a wintry Paris. It's a beautiful film, the sort you can sink into. At 78 percent on the Tomatometer, Private Fears in Public Places shows the 85-year-old Resnais is clearly still fresh. "Resnais and his superb cast have poured their hearts into this film adaptation and anyone seeking mature entertainment should search for this gem," writes Ted Murphy at Murphy's Movie Reviews.

Sara Schieron contributed to this article.

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