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‘Snakes’ slither to Miramax Int’l

“Snakes and Ladders,” a $4 million Irish movie that starts shooting this month, has been picked up by Miramax Intl. for worldwide sale outside North America.

The film marks the directorial debut of Trish McAdam, who also co-wrote the script with Gina Moxley.

It’s the first pic on a slate of seven upcoming multinational projects from producer Chris Sievernich, a New York-based German who is best known for “The Dead” and “Paris, Texas.”

“Snakes and Ladders” is a comic modern romance about two young women in Dublin who are best friends and partners in a comedy double act. Complications ensue when the musician they’re both after proposes to one of them, setting off a chain of life-changing events.

Sievernich’s wife, Lilyan Sievernich, will produce, with Chris Sievernich acting as executive producer. Moxley and Pom Boyd star as the two women, with Irish comedian Sean Hughes as the musician. Pierce Turner, who was named best vocalist in the 1994 Irish Music Awards, is responsible for the music.

Financing comes from Miramax, pre-sales to Lucky Red in Italy and Pandora Film in Germany, and a patchwork of European subsidies including the Berlin Film Fund, Ireland’s Section 35, the Arts Council of Ireland and the European Script Fund. Shooting starts June 12.

Next up for Sievernich will be “A Paradise Under the Stars,” a $2 million Cuban comedy to shoot this winter in Havana. This tale of lovers, wives, mothers and daughters getting mixed up in the Tropicana nightclub will be directed by Gerardo Chijona, who also co-wrote with Senal Paz (“Strawberry and Chocolate”).

“Wind With the Gone,” budgeted at $3.2 million, is also scheduled to shoot this October in Argentina. Written and directed by Alejandro Agresti, it is a romance about a beautiful woman who arrives in a tiny Patagonian town where all the inhabitants speak and act out of sync, because they have only ever watched misedited films.

Next year, Sievernich plans to produce “Robert Johnson,” presenting a mythic version of the life of the eponymous blues legend. The screenplay is being written byTopper Lilien.

Also on the slate is “Hunting Cockroaches,” a German/Polish/U.K. co-production set in New York, budgeted at $7 million. Janusz Glowacki is adapting his comic stage play about an unemployable Polish writer struggling to get his big break in Gotham.

“Mexican Bolero” is a comedy drama that Alfonso Arau (“Like Water for Chocolate”) may direct. The screenplay by Lilyan Sievernich and Paz Alicia Garciadiego is the story of the child bride of a Mexican governor in the country’s post-revolutionary turmoil.

Finally, “Three Pretty Sisters” is another Janusz Glowacki project to be shot in Moscow and the East Coast of the United States. It’s loosely based on the Chekhov play “Three Sisters,” and tells of three girls who wreak romantic havoc in Moscow before moving on to New York.

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