“Nowadays, no one has the same agenda,” says Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard. That precept sums up the post-COVID market landscape, which has forced streamers, day-and-daters and traditional theatrical distributors to carve out an increasingly specialized niche within their own subset. As a result, agents are finding fewer, but more focused, players vying for any given title. While finished films will continue to screen in person in Toronto, albeit to a smaller audience of potential buyers, hot packages will be presented virtually for the second year in a row. “We’ve gotten so used to being flexible and pivoting at the last minute to navigate how best to sell these films,” says ICM’s Jessica Lacy. “And that’s how we’re approaching it for our films this year, too.” Ultimately, the sales slates are markedly smaller, and the buyers are homing in on their targets with never-before-seen efficiency. Still, expect a few bidding wars, and these 10 projects, which represent an eclectic mix of finished films and presales, will likely kickstart a shopping spree.
STARS Kaley Cuoco, Pete Davidson
DIRECTOR Alex Lehman
SALES The Exchange/ICM Partners
BUZZ Internationally bankable stars Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) and Davidson (Suicide Squad) should draw attention to this rom-com with a sci-fi twist: The concept imagines couples being able to travel into their partners’ past to fix their problems.