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NY’er Films Picks Up 2; Rudolph/Willis Film Lands At Disney; Michael Douglas Inks Prod Deal With Oct

NY'er Films Picks Up 2; Rudolph/Willis Film Lands At Disney; Michael Douglas Inks Prod Deal With Oct

Michael Douglas Inks Prod Deal With October

Compiled by Anthony Kaufman & Mark Rabinowitz

>> New Yorker Films Picks Two

Arthouse distributor New Yorker Films acquired two foreign films for
North American release, it was announced last week; Canadian Robert
Lepage’s “No” and Iranian Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s “The Silence.” Lepage’s
“No,” based on his own theater production, tells the tale of an actress
amidst the Quebec nationalist movement. In a report from the Montreal
Film Festival, where the film opened the fest, Stan Schwartz wrote, “The
film is funny, elegant and poetic in an intellectual sort of way, and
perhaps better than the original stage version. But it’s historical
framework is so specific, viewers outside Quebec may wonder just what
the point is.” “No” was passed up for awards at Montreal, but then when
on to win the Toronto City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the
Toronto Film Festival. Makmalbaf’s “The Silence” debuted at Cannes and
later screened in Toronto, to mixed reviews. New Yorker Films will also
release “The Apple” directed by Samira Makhmalbaf (daughter to Mohsen)
early next year. [Anthony Kaufman]

>> Alan Rudolph & Bruce Willis Breakfast At Disney

The North American rights to Alan Rudolph’s new film “Breakfast of
” has been acquired by Disney, according to Variety. Starring
Bruce Willis, who also produced the film, is based on the 1973 Kurt
Vonnegut novel of the same name. Variety reported the sale ended weeks
of speculation about the film after less than enthusiastic reactions at
distributor screening in Los Angeles, New York and London. The deal was
made between Joe Roth, chairman of Walt Disney Studios and Richard Cook,
Disney Motion Picture Group chair, and William Morris Agency president
and Willis’ agent, Arnold Rifkin. WMA Independent chief Cassian Elwes,
who helped package the film, was also on hand for the deal. Cook told
Variety that star Willis will be closely involved with the marketing and
“specialized” release strategy of the film. Approximately $9 million of
the film’s reported $11 million budget was financed by Summit
through foreign presales, according to the trade. Willis
took no fee out of the budget in exchange for a healthy ownership share
in the film, and when the film hit snags during post-production, Willis
ponied up an unspecified sum out of his own pocket to resolve the
problems. [Anthony Kaufman]

>> Douglas’ Furthur Film Sets Up Shop At October

Returning to his independent producer roots, Michael Douglas has
expanded on the deal that his Furthur Films recently signed with
Universal Pictures, by inking a pact with Universal-based October Films,
according to Daily Variety. Douglas, who produced independently financed
pics “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (with Saul Zaentz) and “The China
Syndrome,” and Allison Segan, the former Mutual Films exec, formed
Furthur earlier this year. According to Variety, the duo will likely
make the Stan Seidel-scripted “One Night At McCool’s” their first
project at October. Segan will run Furthur from L.A., while the New
York-based Douglas will work out of a soon-to-open New York office,
along with an NYC-based exec, which the trade stated the duo are soon to
name. [Mark Rabinowitz]

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