American First Run Studios is launching its own worldwide distribution organization at this year’s AFM. Gregory L. Stuart has joined AFRS in the new post of exec in charge of worldwide distribution, after stints at Peacock Films and CineTel Films. The company also is selling 10 theatrical films and several series at the market, including international hit “Acapulco H.E.A.T.,” distribbed domestically by All American Television and already sold to 59 overseas markets.

Platinic Films Inc. has named Graham King as a new partner, effective immediately, it was announced by prez Hugo Rose. King previously was at Small World Entertainment. The company plans to begin production on feature “Magical Rex” in June. The $ 6 million pic, to be helmed by Luigi Cingolani (“Spaced Invaders”), will combine live action with state-of-the-art technology and features an animatronic dinosaur.

Cinelogic Entertainment is at the AFM to sell its first feature, “Wish Me Luck,” which began principal photography Feb. 12. Pic is a romantic comedy toplining Avalon Anders and Raymond Storti, written/helmed by Phillip J. Jones. Cinelogic partners David Stidham and Tom Roberts exec produce. Company’s next pic will be “Steel Justice,” a sci-fi barbarian story. Cinelogic plans to produce four to five low-budget (under $ 1 million) pix a year.

Miklen Entertainment, producer of the film “Married People, Single Sex,” plans to step up production to four pix per year, according to chairman Mike Sedan. He has appointed P.J. Pettiette as senior VP of production and finance. Pettiette most recently was an independent producer at Finnegan Pinchuk, developing “Christopher’s Gift” for director Arthur Hiller.

Daniel Baldwin will star in Falcon Arts & Entertainment’s “Hard Evidence.” The action romance is set to start principal photography April 6 on location in Sarasota, Fla. Baldwin will play an ex-baseball player turned homicide detective , a role not too far from his current stint on NBC’s drama “Homicide: Life on the Street.” Falcon prez Joanne Watkins will produce the pic, to be directed by Michael A. Simpson from the script he co-wrote with Randal Patrick.

Republic Pictures plans a March 11 release in 14 cities of its sci-fi actioner “Apex.” Pic’s producer, Talaat Captan of Green Communications, closed the deal with Republic last March, before the film was completed. No theatrical release had been planned for the $ 6 million pic, but after “Apex” was screened, Republic set in motion a strong marketing campaign for the 100-print release, including 15 in L.A. Pic was co-written and directed by Phillip Roth and stars Richard Keats, Lisa Russell, Mitchell Cox and Marcus Aurelius. Green Communications will be screening “Apex” at the American Film Market Tuesday.

Axis Films Intl. has acquired motion picture and TV rights to the Max Allan Collins characters Nolan and Quarry. Axis president says this is the first time the characters will be translated to the screen. The first of the projects, “Spree,” will begin production this summer in Iowa through Axis’ action specialty division, B.O.P. Films, with William Lustig directing.

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