Cineville Inc. has hired Edwin S. Friendly III as head of Cineville Intl. Inc., widening the company’s bid to become a player in the independent arena.

Cineville, which previously produced the 1991 release “Delusion” and the 1992 release “Gas Food Lodging,” will make its entrance into the overseas arena at this year’s AFM. It also is readying director Allison Anders’ “Mi Vida Loca” (“My Crazy Life”), which will likely be ready for Cannes.

Headed by Carl-Jan Colpaert, Daniel Hassid and financier Christoph Henkel, Cineville believes there is an international market for movies budgeted in the $ 2 million-to-$ 4 million range, which fall between the cracks of most international distributors, Colpaert said.

“We’re looking for auteur directors that need help piecemealing financing together,” Colpaert said. “There’s no such thing as one-stop shopping for the independent filmmaker anymore. We hope to become a bridge between filmmakers and financiers.”

Friendly was most recently a consultant for Live Home Video, following a stint as senior veepee for Veston Inc. During his career, Friendly has been involved in such pix as “Dirty Dancing,””The Princess Bride,””Hamburger Hill, “”Young Guns” and “Blue Steel.” Friendly also was at Producers Sales Organization.

Cineville will introduce a series of movies at AFM for presales, including screenwriters Douchan Gersi’s and Kurt Voss’ adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” Titled “Journey,” William McNamara, Seymour Cassel and James Coburn are reportedly interested in starring, while Gersi is attached to direct.

Cineville is trying to round up international partners to get the jump on other Hollywood companies, which are currently readying their own versions of “Heart of Darkness.” Cineville wants to start its production June 1 in Gaban.

“We’re going to take a Werner Herzog approach to the production,” Cineville partner Hassid said. “We’re not going to try and do a $ 15 million Hollywood film in the jungle. Instead, we’re going to take a small crew to the jungle and actually take the journey.”

Also on the company’s foreign agenda are screenwriters Voss and Keoni Waxman’s “Suicide Kings,” which has received interest from such stars as Virginia Madsen, Michael Madsen and Harry Dean Stanton attached and Waxman attached as director.

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