Cannes: IFC Grabs ‘Death Bell’ and ‘Red Riding Hood’

IFC Entertainment has acquired North American rights to high school horror title Death Bell from South Korea’s Mirovision, while they also announced its second buy of the Festival de Cannes on Thursday, saying it had picked up the three-in-one uber-feature Red Riding Trilogy, which was financed by and has aired on Channel 4 in Britain. You can read about both films beyond the break.Directed by Chang and starring Lee Beom-soo, Kim Beom and Nam Gyu-ri, Death Bell was a huge hit when released in South Korea last August, racking up 1.28 million admissions.

For every wrong answer, one student dies. As the countdown for college entrance exams begin, Chang Ahn High School organizes a special exam cram class for the top 20 students including girl-next-door Lee Na (Nam Gyu Ri) and classroom big shot Hyun Kang (Kim Bum). Taught by Hwang Chang Wook (Lee Bum Soo) and three other teachers, the class is festering with high-strung overachieving teens, some of whom are struggling with serious mental illnesses. In the middle of class, the television suddenly turns on. The students are shocked to see their classmate Hye Young drowning in a water tank onscreen. A voice asks them a sample exam question. Answer correctly, and the classmate lives. Answer incorrectly and…

We scored a look at the displayed one sheet at last year’s AFM in Santa Monica.

The Red Riding Trilogy is an ambitious project financed by and has aired on Channel 4 in Britain, involves three interlinked movies, each from an acclaimed director, that fictionally retells the story of the investigation into Britain’s notorious Yorkshire Ripper of the 1970s and 1980s.

“Riding” follows in the steps of similar projects such as “Paris, je t’aime” and “Tokyo,” though those entailed shorter films that were combined into one feature-length pic. It also echoes Steven Soderbergh’s ’08 Cannes pic “Che,” a two-part feature that was also sometimes presented as one movie; IFC bought and released that title too.

Each of the “Riding” pics will be treated separately by IFC, getting distinct theatrical and VOD releases in the fall.

The project follows a series of characters over a decade-long quest to solve the case of the Ripper. Here are the three film breakdowns:

- “Brideshead Revisited” director Julian Jarrold-helmed “1974,” which stars Eddie Garfield as a rookie journalist attempting to solve the increasingly vexing case of a serial killer on the loose.

- “Man on Wire” director James Marsh helmed “1980,” in which Paddy Considine plays a maverick police office attempting to crack the case of the Yorkshire Ripper six years into his reign of terror, with the character clashing with his superiors over details in the case.

- In Anand Tucker’s “1983,” David Morrisey plays a veteran detective who revisits the case and must come face to face with the mistakes made along the way.

The project is based on novelist David Peace’s book series “Red Riding Quartet,” with producers choosing not to turn the fourth title, “1977,” into a film.

Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton’s Revolution Films produced the pics, and Studio Canal repped the filmmakers. Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal for IFC.