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“The Lady” leads deals as TIFF 2011 winds down

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: As the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival draws to a close this weekend, a few more high-profile titles are finding homes as they seek distribution deals.

Luc Besson’s based-on-true-events drama “The Lady,” for example, has been picked up by Cohen Media Group, THR reports. Michelle Yeoh plays Burmese pro-democracy pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent years in exile standing up for her political beliefs. “The Lady” held its world premiere at TIFF and earned good nods for Yeoh and her co-star, David Thewlis, as Kyi’s patient husband.

“Luc Besson has created an amazing film and we are so fortunate to be in business with EuropaCorp on ‘The Lady,’” CMG CEO Charles S. Cohen said to THR. He also revealed that the company plans to release the film for an awards-qualifying run at the end of the year before going theatrical in 2012.

Meanwhile, IFC Films picked up the rights to Lynn Shelton’s sibling comedy “Your Sister’s Sister,” according to IndieWire, and plans a summer 2012 release.

The film, which stars Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, earned immediate comparisons to Shelton’s recent festival hit “Humpday,” with critics dividing on which film they preferred. But the majority of reviews acknowledged that the film is a sweet and better-than-average romantic comedy that could play very well with a niche audience. If IFC can use “Sister” as counterprogramming to the empty blockbusters of the summer time, this could be an intelligent acquisition.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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