Allegro loses prexy, gains prod’n partner

MONTREAL — Allegro Films president Tom Berry is leaving his position at the Montreal-based film production outfit at the end of July, but he is not cutting his ties to Allegro and its owners, Coscient Group.

Berry is stepping into a four-year production deal with Allegro, he will continue to sit on the Coscient board of directors, and he and Coscient are set to start a joint-venture feature production company to be based in Los Angeles. Berry said he will be announcing more details regarding the Hollywood venture later this summer.

Coscient president Richard Laferriere has appointed veteran producer Jacques Methe as the new president of Allegro. He joined Allegro this week as executive vice president and he will become president Aug. 1. Methe’s most recent position was as president of Atlantique Prods. in Paris, a company that specializes in Canadian-French TV co-productions.

Allegro has moved into bigger-budget feature fare in the past couple of years, most notably with “Screamers” last year and the upcoming “The Assignment” (formerly titled “Jackals”), toplining Aidan Quinn, Ben Kingsley and Donald Sutherland and directed by Christian Duguay. Berry said Allegro will be increasing the number of pricier features it produces and also will be significantly upping its TV production slate.

“Allegro’s volume of production is likely to increase,” Berry said. “I think you’ll see Allegro increase pretty substantially the amount of television production it does and probably do more deals with Europe. My focus will be on the bigger pictures. I think it’s evolutionary. The company has been increasing its volume steadily.”

Aside from “The Assignment,” which Columbia TriStar will be releasing in the U.S. this fall, Allegro has just wrapped shooting on “Little Men” — based on the book by “Little Women” author Louisa May Alcott and starring Mariel Hemingway — and “Adam & Smoke” starring Eric Roberts, Jacob Tierney and Eliza Roberts. Other projects on the Allegro sked include “Random Encounter” and the $15 million “Women in the Dark,” to be directed by Yves Simoneau from a short story by Japanese writer Masako Togawa. The thriller shoots in the Philippines this fall.

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