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Fox Lights Way For Beacon Film Releases

Twentieth Century Fox has signed a three-year, 10-picture distribution deal with Beacon Communications, extending a relationship that will be initiated with the summer release of Beacon’s maiden production, Alan Parker’s “The Commitments.”

The nonexclusive arrangement calls for Fox to release at least three Beacon-produced films annually over the three-year term. Beacon intends to be a major supplier to Fox in the mold of Largo Entertainment.

Beacon, an independently financed company formed in 1989 by writer-director Armyan Bernstein and Chicago financier Tom Rosenberg, has its next production, “The Cider House Rules,” a 1930s period piece based on John Irving’s novel, set to go Sept. 9 under the direction of Phillip Borsos. Matthew Broderick is set to star.

Costner, Kasdan projects

The company, which has fully financed two feature productions since its inception and produced last year’s “Time Warner Presents The Earth Day Special” on ABC, has additional projects in development with Kevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan and Parker, none of which it is prepared to announce at this point.

While its present intention is to focus on being a film company, Beacon will pursue further opportunities in the network and cable tv arenas.

Additionally, the firm has launched a record company, Beacon Records, and has signed a soundtrack deal for “The Commitments” with MCA and two separate album deals with MCA for “Commitments” performers Andrew Strong and Robert Arkins

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