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Focus Features and Random House Enter Filmmaking Partnership

Focus Features and Random House Enter Filmmaking Partnership

Random House, Inc., the book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, and Focus Features, part of NBC Universal, have agreed to a multi-year creative and strategic filmmaking partnership they say will provide authors with a “wider range of audiences and readers, and will provide filmmakers with access to a diverse array of material.” The agreement was announced today by Focus co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus and Random House chairman and CEO Peter Olson. The terms of the deal call for the companies to develop movies together and co-finance and co-produce a substantial slate of feature films for theatrical release, all based on books published by Random House imprints in North America and internationally. The partnership’s films will be derived from newly published, forthcoming, and backlist titles, including adult, children’s, young readers’ and religious titles in which motion picture rights are available and can be acquired. Random House and Focus will jointly acquire film rights for the books and partner together on script development, director selection and all phases of production, as well as marketing and publicity. Some material will be developed and produced at Focus’ sibling production unit Rogue Pictures, of which Mr. Linde is president. Films co-produced by Focus or Rogue with Random House Films will be jointly owned, with Focus holding worldwide distribution and sales rights. The agreement also includes book publishing components. [Brian Brooks]

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This reminds me of when American Playhouse was financing indie films in the 80’s. They never opened up a distributor, but instead went through all of the indie “flavors of the month”. Does American Playhouse still finance theatrical movies? I haven’t seen their name on anything in a long time.

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