Warner picks up thalidomide film

BERLIN — Warner Home Video Germany has picked up domestic home entertainment rights to “Side Effects” (“Contergan — Eine einzige Tablette”), the controversial TV movie that became the subject of a lengthy court battle.The two-parter, produced by Cologne-based Zeitsprung Entertainment and WDR for pubcaster ARD, will be released as a double DVD on Nov. 9 directly following its free TV premiere.

Pic chronicles the thalidomide drug scandal of the early 1960s that resulted in birth defects in thousands of babies in Europe.

Gruenenthal, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug, tried to block the film on German TV, but the country’s highest court last month greenlit the broadcast and paved the way for international sales.

“Side Effects” was a hot seller at last week’s Mipcom TV programming mart in Cannes, where Beta Film closed deals for the TV movie with France’s M6, satcaster Sky Italia and Italo pubcaster RAI.

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