NEW YORK – Miramax Films confirmed Friday that producer Cary Woods will exit when his three-year exclusive production deal is up at the end of 1996. Woods, who has produced eight films for Miramax, is seeking independent financing and distribution to form his own company.

“We wish Cary luck and we are thrilled to still have movies on the horizon with him,” said Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. “He has been a great producer and a great friend of the company and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

Breaking up Woods

Woods and partner Cathy Konrad are dissolving Woods Entertainment, which currently has two films in release, Alexander Payne’s “Citizen Ruth” and Wes Craven’s “Scream.” Konrad is expected to announce her own deal with Miramax shortly.

“It has been a great experience working with Miramax and I am very proud of the work we have accomplished together,” Woods said.Among the films that Woods produced for Miramax were “Kids” (which was released under the Weinsteins’ Shining Excalibur banner after receiving an NC-17 rating), “Beautiful Girls” and “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead.” Woods also executive produced Doug Liman’s “Swingers,” written by and starring Jon Favreau. Miramax paid $5 million for the film, which has grossed $3.2 million to date.

New releases

In 1997, two of Woods’ films will be released: “Wide Awake,” written and directed by Night Shyamalan, and “Copland,” a $30 million production directed by James Mangold. “Copland” features an ensemble cast that includes Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Rapaport and Annabella Sciorra, several of whom agreed to work for scale in hopes of profiting from the film on the back end.

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