AFM Notes

Filmways Entertainment Corp. has acquired a number of pix for international distribution. In post-production are romantic thriller “Backlash,” produced/written by Jake Carvey and David de Vos and directed by de Vos, and comedy/mystery “The Sand Angels,” a Seabrook Entertainment pic expected to be ready for Cannes. “Riders in the Storm,” a Western from Coldstone Pictures Intl. starring Bo Hopkins, Morgan Brittany and Michael Horse, starts production March 7.

Other pickups are “Christian,” written and directed by Gabriel Axel from Just Betzer’s Panorama Films Intl., and “Russian Ragtime,” which won the special jury prize for best debut in the first All Russian Film Festival, held in Sochi.

Filmways Entertainment’s first production is “Sacred Cargo,” the first of a series of co-productions planned with Oleg Kapanet’s Kovsag Concern. It will shoot in St. Petersburg this summer with Ed Carlin producing and playwright Alexander Buravsky directing from the screenplay he wrote withAlexander Cary. The pic is available for pre-sales at AFM.

Geoff Griffiths, longtime partner with John Eyres in EGM Film Holdings, is leaving the company to pursue other interests. His plans include producing a film later this year. Eyres will continue to helm EGM, with Shari Bowles as VP production/biz affairs and Paul Eyres as VP international sales. At AFM, EGM is presenting a slate of three new actioners, two of which, “Project Shadowchaser 3 ” and “Bridge of Spies,” will be completed by the end of the year.

Worldvision Enterprises, a division of Spelling Entertainment, has acquired all U.S. rights to North American Releasing’s action pic “Crackerjack,” starring Thomas Ian Griffith, Nastassja Kinski and Christopher Plummer. Film will have its world preem at 11 a.m. today at the AMC 4 in Santa Monica.

Overseas Filmgroup/First Look Pictures announced Wednesday that it officially closed its deal with Home Box Office for the March 10 worldwide premiere of director Frank Cappello’s “American Yakuza,” which stars Viggo Mortenson, Ryo Ishibashi and Michael Nouri. The pic was screened for buyers at last year’s Mifed market in Milan.

Overseas said successful sales on “American Yakuza” have spurred it to move forward on production plans for another movie in what is dubbed the “Japanese mafia” genre. The first of the two pix is titled “No Way Back” and will be introduced at the AFM.

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