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Propaganda in new indie pic venture

Propaganda Films has joined with two foreign distributors/financiers, Nippon Film Development and Finance Inc. and European conglomerate WMG, to form an indie film production venture.

Architects of the deal, Nippon CEO Michiyo Yoshizaki, Propaganda co-chair Sigurjon (Joni) Sighvatsson and prexy Jim Tauber, and WMG U.S. prexy Art Horan, say they came together to fill a niche in an otherwise rapidly thinning indie production field.

“We all have a real love for doing the more specialized pictures,” Tauber told Daily Variety Wednesday.

As the deal stands, all three partners will have equal artistic say in what films projects will be done. The two foreign partners, in addition to offering financing, will aid in crucial distribution areas of Japan and Germany.

“It’s extremely difficult to get distributors in these areas and in the U.S., ” Tauber said. “So this deal, which we’ve been putting together for a year, will not only provide a way for financing thefilms, but also a way of insuring theatrical distribution.”

Gramercy Pictures will handle the domestic distribution, while Polygram Video will handle U.S. video rights. Nippon Film Development will retain distribution rights for Japan, the Far East and Asia (excluding Korea) while WMG will distribute in German-speaking territories.

International sales will be handled by Capitol Films Ltd.

Company execs plan to put up to three projects in front of the cameras over the next 18 months.

Nippon, based in both Tokyo and London, is funded by a consortium of 11 Japanese companies. The company has co-financed such films as “The Crying Game” and “Howards End.”

WMG is a production subsidiary of Jopf Holding GmbH & Co., a privately held European media and real estate conglomerate. The company produced the recently released “Sirens” and the upcoming “Englishmen” with Miramax.

Among Propaganda’s recent titles are “Kill Me Again,””Wild at Heart” and Madonna’s “Truth or Dare.”

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