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Dogstar teams with Parfitt on Brit branch

LONDON — Mike Newell and Alan Greenspan’s Dogstar Films is joining forces in London with David Parfitt and Liz Barron’s Parfitt Prods. to form Dogstar U.K.

The new venture will be an equal partnership between the four principals, backed by a first-look deal with Summit Entertainment.

Newell will act as chairman, with Barron running day-to-day operations as finance director. Irena Brignull has been hired from the BBC as head of development and Carolyn Drebin has been upped to development executive.

The decision to form Dogstar U.K. follows the failed bid for a British lottery production franchise by U.K. Filmworks, a consortium involving Dogstar, Parfitt and Summit along with Summit’s regular financial backer Newmarket Capital.

“This new joint venture is a direct result of the relationship that was forged between all of us during the bidding process,” said Parfitt. “Although we were disappointed not to win a franchise, we are excited and optimistic about the future of the new company, and by the strengthening of our ongoing relationship with Summit.”

Dogstar Films recently entered a first-look deal with Fox 2000 in Los Angeles, where it has a large slate of projects in development and will remain a separate company. But its London office has effectively been dormant for the past nine months while Newell concentrated on finishing “Donnie Brasco.”

It is now reviving its U.K. presence by hooking up with Parfitt, formerly a partner in Renaissance Films, where he produced “The Madness of King George,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and Miramax’s upcoming “Wings of a Dove.” Barron was finance director of Renaissance before leaving with Parfitt, her husband, to form their new banner earlier this year.

Dogstar’s British activities have so far been restricted to executive producing Nick Willing’s “Photographing Fairies,” produced by Michele Camarda, which will be released later this year.

The slate of the new joint company is headed by “I Capture the Castle,” adapted by Amy Jenkins from Dodie Smith’s novel, which is in development with the BBC; and “Stanley,” based on the life of artist Sir Stanley Spencer, to be scripted by Pam Gems.

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