Joffe Gets French Backing

British director Roland Joffe and French producer Alain Goldman have teamed to form Nomad Prods., a Los Angeles-based film production company.

The new outfit, which will open offices within two weeks, is being financed by French major Gaumont. Joffe and Goldman completed negotiations with Gaumont Feb. 10.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nomad has a first-look deal with Gaumont. The French major will provide development funding and will bankroll pix that get the greenlight.

Goldman said Nomad will primarily produce films to which Joffe is attached as a director, although the new partners are not ruling out working with other helmers. Joffe and Goldman say they have four or five projects in mind and Joffe expects to lense the first of these in the first half of 1996. Joffe would not give details of the subject, but he did tell Variety that he is keen to work on a comedy.

This is the second housekeeping deal between Goldman and Gaumont. Two years ago Gaumont agreed to provide development funding for Goldman’s Legende Prods., which is working on a mix of English-and French-language pictures.

The exact terms of the financial arrangement between Nomad and Gaumont have not been released, but it seems likely that Gaumont will fully fund films costing up to $20 million. “On a general basis, we all agree that a film costing over $20 million will require an American distributor involved at the outset,” Goldman said.

Gaumont and Goldman will handle international sales on the pictures, with Gaumont/BVI distributing in France. Both Goldman and Joffe will continue to operate their existing production companies: Light Motive for Joffe and Legende for Goldman.

Commenting on the new production company, Joffe said, “It will give me more creative and business freedom and the same budgets as with any American studio.”

For Goldman, the next 12 months promise to be hectic. Apart from setting up Nomad, Legende has three projects going into production this year.

First up is expected to be the English-language genetic thriller “The Experiment,” scripted by Roselyne Bosch. Goldman expects to sign a director to the project in the near future.

Next up is the English adaptation of Georges Simenon’s “En Cas de Malheur.” In the second half of the year, shooting is meant to start on a comedy from Patrick Braoude (“Nine Months”). The pic has a working title “Harceles-Moi.” Next month Goldman will have the first draft of “Si Dieu Veut,” from scripter Florence Quentin.

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