Companies Unveil Plans at Cannes Marché
by Eugene Hernandez
After a weekend of moviegoing here in Cannes, industry attendees at the Marché du Film (the concurrent film market here at the Festival de Cannes) are buzzing about the lack of deals that that are going down. While American distributors have yet to announce pacts for Cannes festival entries, companies are taking the opportunity to unveil new initiatives and some acquisitions.
WILLIAM MORRIS FUNDS FILMS
In a deal that hit the trades here over the weekend, William Morris Independent has formed El Camino Pictures with Bob Yari to fund a slate of ten new films. The movies will be packaged and handled by the outfit's Cassian Elwes and Rena Ronson.
The company will use the outfit to support its own clients, but it will also welcome clients from other agencies. Bob Yari is a well-known financier within industry circles. Among William Morris Independent's other projects have been "The Good Girl" and "Monster's Ball."
GREENESTREET SETS HORROR PLAN
New York based GreeneStreet Films has launched Raw Nerve, a new venture "to create a series of serious, no-holds barred, moderately-budgeted horror films." Boaz Yakin ("Remember the Titans," "Uptown Girls") will run Raw Nerve with Eli Roth, the co-writer/director/producer of the festival fave horror flick "Cabin Fever," which Lions Gate will release this fall; Scott Spiegel, co-writer of "Evil Dead II" and director of "My Name is Modesty" and "From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Blood Money"; and David J. Schow, author of "the Crow" and "Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III."
In an announcement, GreeneStreet said that Raw Nerve will make "terrifying films whose lean budgets actually enhance their effectiveness." As Yakin expressed in a prepared statement, "The more intimate, familiar and real the surroundings, the more effective the terror the viewer feels. By keeping our budgets low and our standards high, we can produce movies that are frightening, fun and extremely profitable."
The four principals will write and direct some Raw Nerve projects themselves, and will also develop other films with experienced and emerging filmmakers. The company, which will have East Coast and West Coast operations, plans to produce three to five titles per year.
GLOBAL FILM ORG UNVEILS RECIPIENTS
The new Global Film Initiative has announced the recipients for its first first grant program. The new organization will support six new feature projects with completion funds up to $40,000.
Selected for the funding are Minh Nguyen-Vo's "The Buffalo Boy" from Vietnam, Maria Joao's "The Empty City" from Angola, Hugo Daniel Grosso's "On Each Side" from Argentina, Bob Nyanja's "Aminata" from Kenya, Joao Luis Sol Carvalho's "Another Man's Garden" from Mozambique, and Li Yu's "Embankment Street" from China.
FIRST LOOK GETS "CLARE" PIC
First Look Media is in Cannes to showcase scenes from a new project that it has acquired, John Irvin's "The Boys From County Clare." The picture stars Andrea Corr of the popular Irish band, The Corrs. Overseas Filmgroup is handling worldwide licensing of the movie.
The movie, which stars Colm Meaney, among others, was written by Nicholas Adams. The producers are Evzen Kolar, Wolfgang Esenwein and Ellen Little, who brought the project to First Look Media.
[Wendy Mitchell contributed to this article]