Canadian producer snags Berlin pitch prize
BERLIN - A Canadian producer has scored a lucrative film prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Toronto-based Geordie Sabbagh was awarded the VFF Talent Highlight Pitch Award, worth nearly $13,500.
A publicist for Geordie Sabbagh Productions says the prize came Tuesday at the Berlinale co-production market, where an international jury awards a cash prize to the most promising movie proposal.
Sabbagh's film "Two Guys who Sold the World" was among an elite group of 10 projects invited to seek deals at the Berlin co-production market.
From there, his sci-fi comedy was chosen as one of three projects to compete for the pitch award.
"Two Guys who Sold the World" is the story of a self-proclaimed genius forced to repair the damaged UFO of two not-very advanced aliens before an invasion fleet destroys the world.
Sabbagh's publicist Mario Tassone says the Berlin prize is a key boost to securing more funding for the project.
He says rookie Montreal director Patrick Boivin has already been tapped to helm the film, describing Boivin as a self-taught filmmaker who became a YouTube sensation with his "Dragon Baby" and "Iron Baby" videos.
Tassone says Sabbagh's upcoming dramedy "Old Stock" — about an 18-year-old who moves into a retirement home with his grandfather — is expected to hit theatres later this year.