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AFM Notes

Mark Damon, president of newly formed MDP, announced a pivotal deal with Gaga Communications of Japan for rights in all media to the classic “The Jungle Book” in the Japanese market. The deal was completed by Reiko Bradley, MDP’s veepee of international distribution. With Japan, MDP has concluded licensing deals for all major international territories for the live-action pic, including: Neue Constantin, Germany; AMLF, France; Berlusconi, Italy and Spain; Alliance, Canada; SKC, Korea; Transmundo, Argentina; Roadshow, Australia; NuMetro, South Africa; and Archer, Taiwan. The Walt Disney Co. will release the film in the U.S. as well as the U.K., Scandinavia, Benelux, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece and Latin America. Principal photography begins March 15; pic stars Jason Scott Lee, Sam Neill, Cary Elwes and Lena Headey, and is helmed by Stephen Sommers (“The Adventures of Huck Finn”).

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Golden Harvest announced that its latest Jackie Chan film, “Drunken Master II ,” has opened to strong box office results. In 24 days, the movie has amassed $ 22,522,832 from release in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and looks likely to become Golden Harvest’s biggest Jackie Chan pic to date.

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David Heavener’s year-old Silver Lake Intl. Pictures racked up more than $ 1 million in sales at its second AFM. Sales came principally on “Eye of the Stranger,””Bitter End” and “Bad Attitude,” with major deals being concluded with distribs in Germany and South Korea. Also, the company picked up actioners “Bad Attitude” and “Mission of Mercy,” martial arts pic “Tiger Mask, the Star” and prize-winning drama “Small Time” for sale at AFM.

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Prism Entertainment has acquired horror pic “Aswang” from Forefront Films for domestic homevideo release. Forefront also has concluded vid deals with StarDance Entertainment for coming-of-age drama “Escape to Witch Mountain” and with United American Video for the HBO-produced performing arts spec “The Big Apple Circus.”

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PFG Entertainment has acquired foreign rights to “Crossfire.” Pic reunites actor Phillip Rhee and director Robert Radler, who previously teamed on “Best of the Best” and its sequel. The actioner is skedded to begin production this summer. Propaganda Films was negotiating for domestic rights.

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Netherlands-based Hills Entertainment Group has acquired the $ 4.7 million feature “Suite 16,” directed by Dominique Deruddere and starring Richard Harris.

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Trident Releasing has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Philippe Mora’s satirical thriller “Art Deco Detective,” starring Stephen McHattie, Brion James, Mel Smith and John Dennis Johnston as the title character.

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Fries Distribution has brought Spiderman to the AFM. The company is selling a package of three theatricals originally distributed by Columbia Pictures –“Spiderman,””Spiderman Strikes Back” and “Spiderman and the Chinese Web”– as well as an 11-episode series and longform pilot syndicated on TV throughout the world.

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Steven Karash has been named executive sales consultant to G.E.L. Production & Distribution, it was announced at AFM by CEO/prez William Shields. Karash most recently was exec VP, sales and acquisitions, at Ulysse Entertainment.

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Angelika Films has licensed five titles to Golden Communications in Malaysia and 15 to Umut Sanat, Istanbul, for broadcasting on Turkish TV. Among pix sold were “Remote Control,” to be presented by Iceland at Cannes ’94, and “Facing the Forest,” a German-Israeli co-prod starring Rusty Jacobs and directed by Peter Lilienthal, currently in post-production.

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Intl. Creative Exchange is launching distribution of docu “With Love and Respect” at AFM. Pic is about the relationship between an American Navy captain and a Japanese Army major after World War II. ICE also will debut the half-hour drama “120-Volt Miracles,” which aired on HBO as part of its “Short Stories” series; action thriller “Last Shot”; and the docu series “Spirit of Survival,” 13 half-hours about catastrophes and the individuals who risk all to save lives, produced by the Discovery Network.

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