By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 11, 2010 at 5:21AM
A major deal between Fox International Productions (FIP) and Fortissimo Films was announced today, just one day before the opening of Cannes. FIP and Fortissimo have entered into an agreement whereby Fortissimo will act as sales agent for FIP on a number of its high profile local language motion pictures. Fortissimo will handle international sales on mutually agreed FIP projects in the majority of territories.
FIP president Sanford Panitch and Fortissimo chairman Michael J Werner also announced the first two titles to fall under the agreementl: Italian language production "Vallanzasca," where Fortissimo will be handling all rights outside Italy, France, Germany, and Scandinavia; and the Russian language "Alien Girl," where Fortissimo is handling all rights outside of Russia.
This multi-picture relationship is unique in that it features a major US studio and an independent film sales company working together to maximize revenues.The deal brings "FIP's worldwide production and marketing acumen, resources, and infrastructure together with Fortissimo's 20 year track record in the sales and distribution of non-English language films," the two companies jointly said in their press release.
"Fortissimo's success in matching local distributors with independent films and Michael's own familiarity with the kind of Studio level pictures we are developing and producing makes this a perfect fit for both parties and will prove an incredible benefit to the filmmakers and projects involved," FIP president Sanford Panitch said in a statement.
Fortissimo's chairman Michael J Werner added: "This is a very exciting deal for the Fortissimo family. Sanford and his FIP team are developing an amazing slate of high profile and extremely commercial local language films. Using Fortissimo's long standing experience in bringing local films to prominence and success we expect that this arrangement will be a win-win situation for Fox, Fortissimo and the independent distribution community around the globe."
Currently in post-production, "Vallanzasca" is directed by Michele Placido and stars Paz Vega, Moritz Bleibtreu, and Kim Rossi Stuart. It is set in 1970s Italy and is based on the true story of Italy's most notorious mobster. A Twenty-First Century Fox Italy co-production, the film is produced by FIP, Elide Mali for Cosmo Production, and will be released by Fox in Italy and Germany later this fall. Fortissimo will be showing a promo reel in its Cannes offices.
Based on the novel of the same name from author Vladimir "Adolfovich" Nesterenko and currently in post-production, "Alien Girl" tells the story of a Russian underworld figure who sends four of his best hitmen to pick up a woman hiding out in the Czech Republic, only to have her play them off against each other and come out on top. Directed by Anton Barmatov and starring Natalia Romanycheva, Evgeny Tkachuk, Kirill Poluhin, Anatoly Otradnov, Alexander Golubkov, and Evgeny Mundun, the film is scheduled for a major theatrical release in Russia commencing June 17th. The film is a K3, Profit, and FIP production, produced by Konstantin Ernst and Igor Tolstunov.