TIFF is often lauded as the first place to look for Oscar worthy-films—the festival has previously premiered Precious, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker, Chariots of Fire, and, of course, last year’s King’s Speech, to name a few. Naturally, distributors are always in town for the festival and eager to snatch up the next hot-ticket item. Already Variety is reporting that the first two films to get deals at this year’s festival are Steve McQueen‘s sexual thriller Shame and Christophe Honore’s romantic drama Beloved (Les biens-aimes).
Fox Searchlight, the arm of 20th Century Fox that specializes in independent and British films, bought Shame, which stars Michael Fassbender as a depressed sex addict and Carey Mulligan as his equally twisted sister. Shame received rave reviews and Fassbender even won the prize for best actor at the Venice Film Festival (Oscar hunch, anyone?).
Sundance Selects bought Honore’s French film Beloved (Les biens-aimes), which stars Catherine Deneuve and her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni. The film spans 45 years and follows Madeleine (Deneuve), a prostitute in the 1960s, and her daughter Vera through misadventures in love. Honore and Sundance Selects seem to like each other: this is the fifth time the two have collaborated, having previously partnered on Dans Paris, Love Songs, La Belle Personne and Make Plans for Lena.