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Alliance bows feature-only subsid

Canadian producer and distrib Alliance Communications Corp. announced July 20 that it has created a new subsidiary, Alliance Pictures, to focus exclusively on the development and production of feature films, and Andras Hamori, a former Alliance exec, has been named president of the new entity.

Hamori, who was senior VP of production at Alliance from 1985 to 1989, is ankling his position as co-chair of Accent Entertainment Corp., and, in a separate agreement, Accent, now solely owned by Susan Cavan, has inked a first-look distrib agreement with Alliance for upcoming Accent pic and TV projects.

Hamori will be based in Los Angeles and will concentrate on increasing the number of bigger-budget pix produced by the company. These projects will likely be in partnership with Hollywood majors and key indies.

The creation of Alliance Pictures comes four months after the forming of Alliance-MDP Worldwide, the Mark Damon-run international distrib that is designed to handle Alliance’s more pricey feature productions.

“It definitely means an increase in activity because Alliance-MDP Worldwide is selling 10 to 15 pictures a year,” said Hamori. “So we have to develop and produce if we want to compete in the foreign-sales market. I am aggressive, so our policy is going to be aggressive. At this stage, Alliance can offer a real alternative to studio financing or (develop projects) in collaboration with studio financing.”

Alliance currently co-produces feature projects with four main Hollywood partners, Universal Pictures, TriStar, Miramax and New Line. The company has a three-pic deal with Universal set to kickoff with the Costa Gavras-directed “No Other Life.” The TriStar pic-by-pic arrangement has so far produced two films, “Johnny Mnemonic” and “Never Talk to Strangers,” a thriller top-lining Rebecca De Mornay and Antonio Banderas that TriStar will release this fall in the U.S.

The first Alliance/New Line pic is the soon-to-be-shot David Cronenberg film “Crash,” based on the J.G. Ballard novel.

Alliance’s feature-film development veepee Lael McCall will now work under the Alliance Pictures banner.

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