DAILY NEWS: MGM Channel; "Mondo" Film; Urbanworld Acquisition; and the "Green Dragon" Deal
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> MGM to Launch New Movie Channel in New Zealand
(indieWIRE/04.05.01) -- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has announced a deal with
Sky Network Television Limited to launch a new 24-hour digital movie channel
in New Zealand. The MGM Movie Channel, which will launch this summer, is the
company's first fully-owned and operated TV outlet. Earlier this week, MGM
closed its deal to acquire a 20% interest in Rainbow Media's American Movie
Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel and WE: Women's Entertainment. It also has interests in 16 international channels.
"This new channel further underscores the extraordinary demand for our content and resonance of the MGM brand throughout the world," commented Jim Griffiths, President, MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, in a prepared
statement. "We look forward to building on our already successful relationship with Sky and to the opportunities for the MGM Movie Channel in this market and other potential neighboring territories." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> FilmFour and Good Machine are "Mondo Beyondo"
(indieWIRE/04.05.01) -- Britain's FilmFour Ltd. has acquired the rights to
spec script "Mondo Beyondo" by first time writers, David Guion and Michael Handelman. The movie will be produced by New York's Good Machine, the U.K. film company disclosed yesterday. "Mondo Beyondo" focuses on two guys who survive a nuclear holocaust and find the world under siege from a mob of
killer robots. Together, they set out with a tough 'superbabe' determined
to stop the invaders and their evil leader, The Overlord.
Writers David Guion and Michael Handelman have worked together since
attending Yale doing improv and sketch comedy in addition to stage
performances in New York. "Mondo Beyondo" is represented by Brillstein-Grey
Management who are continuing their collaboration with FilmFour following an
earlier agreement for "Buffalo Soldiers" directed by Gregor Jordan and
starring Joaquin Phoenix.
"Having personally previously bonded in a sick ritual with The Overlord, not
to mention the fact that (Anne) Carey and (Anthony) Bregman (the film's producers) have long ago self-implanted the latest nano technology, the
script instantly spoke to us," commented Ted Hope, co-founder of Good
Machine in a prepared statement. "It goes without saying that FilmFour
shared our commitment to let the inner geek in all of us speak!"
FilmFour Ltd. owns the U.K.'s Channel 4 and has interests in film
development, production, sales and distribution. [Brian Brooks]
>> Urbanworld Set with "Higher Ed"
(indieWIRE/04.05.01) -- Urbanworld Films has announced the acquisition of
Jean Claude LeMarre's "Higher Ed." The movie, which will be released this
summer, features Pras, from the Fugees, along with Aries Spears ("Mad TV"), Hill Harper ("The Visit"), Leila Arcieri ("Son of the Beach") and director LeMarre.
"'Higher Ed' is a hilarious film about the coming of age from boy to man,"
commented Urbanworld's Stacy Spikes in a prepared statement. "Audiences
will be rolling on the floor with Pras, and if you think Aries Spears is
funny on 'MAD T.V.,' wait until you seen him in this."
Urbanworld Films is an outgrowth of the popular Urbanworld Film Festival.
The company will soon release "The Visit" and "For Da Luv of Money." Later
this year the company will release "Punks." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Silver Nitrate Nabs Bui's "Dragon"
(indieWIRE/04.05.01) -- Silver Nitrate Releasing has acquired Timothy Linh
Bui's "Green Dragon," The Hollywood Reporter reported yesterday. The distributor will release the movie this fall, according to the Hollywood
trade publication. The movie, in competition at Sundance this year, was
written by the director and his brother Tony (best known for the Sundance
award-winner "Three Seasons"). The movie stars Patrick Swayze and Forest Whitaker. Silver Nitrate also released Steve Buscemi's "The Animal Factory." [Eugene Hernandez]