New Line Intl. and Independent/Meteor Films have pacted for a two-year output deal to include 16 New Line films for the territory of Benelux, it was announced at AFM by NLI prez Rolf Mittweg. The pact, which includes a third-year renewal option, covers New Line Cinema’s productions and acquisitions during this period.

In its latest project, Double Helix sets up a battle between two famous characters for “Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula.” The $ 8 million period piece will combine action with humor in a pastiche of the Sherlock Holmes movies. Producer Jeffery Sneller says the film will have a 16-week shoot in Latvia, standing in for Transylvania. Pic will be directed by Richard Franklin (“F/X2.”)

Capella Intl. has acquired international rights to Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning documentary “American Dream,” it was announced at AFM by co-chairman Willi Baer and president/CEO Ortwin Freyermuth.

Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment is set to begin production on “Back in Action,” an action thriller starring martial arts star Billy Blanks and wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper. This brings SGE’s AFM lineup to 13 films, its most extensive slate at any one market.

Filmauro has picked up Italo distribution rights to Robert Altman’s “Pret-a-Porter,” to begin shooting in Paris in October. Ian Jessel, president of Miramax Intl., and Leslie Grunberg, chairman of the Revcom Group and prexy of Films Ariane, yesterday jointly announced the deal with Filmauro president Aurelio de Laurentiis. “Pret-a-Porter” will be shot entirely in Europe and will be distributed by Films Ariane in France, by Senator in Germany and by Filmauro in Italy.

William Katt has been signed to star in dramatic series “Stories From the 13 th Floor,” according to Catherine Malatesta, director of sales and marketing at Westinghouse Broadcasting Intl. WBI is offering 13 half-hours of the mystery-thriller at AFM. Series is a co-production between Dandelion Distribution Ltd., U.K.; Visual Prods. Ltd., Canada; and WBI.

Sands Films has retrieved the rights to its Academy Award-nominated film “Little Dorrit” and all future sales will be handled by Movie Acquisition Corp. MAC will be responsible for theatrical, television and video sales worldwide.

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