Shirley MacLaine Earns AFI Honors, IFC Eyes Cannes' Sightseers: Biz Break

Also in Wednesday morning's news briefs: Lee Daniels finds his Jacqueline Kennedy for The Butler, Harvey Weinstein and Karl Lagerfeld seek a star at amfAR auction, Cannes Film Market reports an increase in attendance and screenings, and more...

IFC Takes N. American Rights to Sightseers in Cannes
The company picked up all North American rights to the film by Kill List director Ben Wheatley. The dark comedy will premiere Wednesday in the Cannes Directors Fortnight. Tina’s led a sheltered life, and there are sights that Chris wants her to see. But it doesn’t take long for the dream to fade as people along the way and Tina's meddling mother threaten to shatter Chris' dreams and send him over the edge. Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films negotiated the deal with Ben Roberts at Protagonist on behalf of the filmmakers.

Meryl Streep to Give Shirley MacLaine AFI Honor
Shirley MacLaine will receive the AFI Live Achievement Award at a black-tie gala at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City on June 7. Meryl Streep, who is also an AFI Live Achievement Award honoree, will present MacLaine the award at the private ceremony that will air June 24 on TV Land.

Around the 'net...

Cannes Market: Rain An Ally
The Marché du Film, the market component of the Cannes Film Festival seems to have thrived during the several days of rain here. Screening attendance expanded by 25% and overall attendance expanded by 8% this year, the Cannes Market News reports. Altogether, 109 countries participated in the Cannes Film Market, with 13 countries setting up at the event that were not present last year; Latin American and Asian attendance lead the way in the jump.

Harvey Weinstein and Karl Lagerfeld Seek amfAR Star
The Weinstein Company chief will produce a short film that fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld will direct, and a starring role is up for the highest bidder in an auction to be held Cannes' annual amfAR Benefit. The event has raised over $70M for AIDS research in two decades, Variety reports.

Minka Kelly Chosen for Jacqueline Kennedy in Lee Daniels Film
The Friday Night Lights star will play the former first lady in Daniels's next feature The Butler starring Forest Whitaker as the White House butler who served eight U.S. presidents, Screen reports. Daniels will debut his Nicole Kidman starrer The Paperboy Thursday in Cannes.

eOne and RKO Nab A Late Quartet for U.S.
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken, the film revolves around members of a world-renowned string quartet who struggle to stay together on the eve of their 25th season. A Late Quartet will be released by the two companies in the fall, Deadline reports.

Submarine Licenses Three Films to SnagFilms
Online site SnagFilms has licensed Letters from the Big Man (about a sasquatch encounter in Oregon), the punk doc Hi My Name is Ryan, and the 2010 Berlinale entry Arias with a Twist: A Documentary. Snag holds all cable VOD and digital rights to the films in the U.S., Deadline reports.


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