Eastern Europeans Looking To Hammer Out Deals In L.A.

For East Europeans, the American Film Market, coming on the heels of the Berlinale, is primarily a stomping ground for heavyweights and enterprising newcomers.

One of the latter is Hungarian distrib Istvan Gardos of Intercom. The company has standing deals with Columbia, Warner Bros.-Disney and Carolco, plus some indie producers.

At AFM, Gardos (contactable through the Synergy stand) will be browsing for indie product while he actively scouts for Yanks interested in lensing in Hungary, one of his company’s main sidelines. (Intercom just finished “Hudson Hawk,” whose Hungarian part, at least, came in on budget.)

Another newcomer will be a new distribbery co-owned by veteran East European dealer Gerry Rappaport’s IFEX and the Slovak Distribution Co. of Czechoslovakia. Michael Malek, former buyer for Czechoslovak Filmexport, will be in L.A. repping the new banner and looking for Yank indies that will play well back home.

Burying the hatchet

After a year of hostilities over sales rights, Sovexportfilm appears to have patched things up with Mosfilm Studio. Sovexport supremo Oleg Rudnev recently signed a cooperation agreement for film production and foreign distribution with Mosfilm topper Vladimir Dostal.

Rudnev will head the Sovexport delegation from the company stand. In addition to looking for foreign partners for Soviet co-productions, they are bringing several dozen titles for sale and will hold screenings for a trio of new films.

“Franca,” a co-prod between Sovexport and Belorussia Film Studio, is a sentimental melodrama based on a 19th century Polish novel. “The Rage Bus,” co-produced with the Ladia Film Unit in Moscow, is based on the true story of terrorists seizing a school bus in the Caucasus and trying to get to Israel. “Sideburns” is a Lenfilm comedy by Yuri Mamin, set in the last century but with references to the Russian nationalists’ movement today. Lenfilm, by the way, has now become an association of several film studios.

Though Film Polski has no stand, topper Leon Warecki is coming with a list of brand new Polish titles. He considers AFM the most important market of the year, especially for buying video rights and some theatrical.

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