Chrysalis Deal Leads To U.K. Pic Ventures

Chrysalis, the British music and media group, has teamed up with New York producer Mark Tarlov to launch two London-based film ventures – a foreign sales company, Chrysalis Films Intl., and a production company, Polar Prods.

Chrysalis Films Intl. will be headed by Peter Rogers, formerly sales and marketing director of J & M Entertainment. The company is 75% owned by Chrysalis and 25% by Tarlov, and will make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May,

Polar Prods, is up and running under managing director Cameron McCracken, formerly a co-production lawyer with legal firm Olswang. Chrysalis and Tarlov each have 45% of the company, with McCracken holding the remaining 10%. Polar has a first-look deal with Chrysalis Films Intl.

This double partnership between Chrysalis and Tarlov is the first significant international relationship to be cemented by the British company since it announced its intention to move into the film business a year ago. It is also Lyndsey Posner’s first significant strategic move since she was appointed managing director of Chrysalis Film Prods. last fall.

Before Posner arrived, Chrysalis struck development deals with a handful of British producers, including John Goldstone, Gary Sinyor’s Cavalier Features, Stefan Schwarz and Richard Holmes of the Gruber Brothers, and Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley’s Scala Prods., in which it bought a 49% stake. Chrysalis also owns Red Rooster Films.

Tarlov, whose U.S. company is Polar Entertainment, has a strong track record of production both for Hollywood studios and with international partners. His most recent project is “Copycat” with Arnon Milchan’s New Regency for Warner Bros. Previous credits include “Serial Mom” and “A Good Man in Africa.”

Chrysalis Films Intl. will initially concentrate on raising presales finance for projects from the Chrysalis/Tarlov family of producers, but also will represent outside filmmakers.

Polar intends to produce three to five European films a year, with a budget range of $2 million to $10 million. It already has two projects scheduled to start shooting by May.

The first is “Cork,” based on a screenplay and original story by William Boyd, to be directed by first-timer Tania Diez. “Cork,” which will shoot in London and Lisbon, is a poetic love story set in 1930s Portugal.

The second is “I Love You, I Love You Not,” adapted by Wendy Kesselman from her stage play, to be directed by Billy Hopkins. Jeanne Moreau and Golden Globe winner Claire Danes (“My So-Called Life”) will star in the coming-of-age drama about a Jewish girl in New York and her relationship with her grandmother, an Auschwitz survivor. Both films will be sold internationally by CFI.

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