Searchlight finds pic pair

Fox unit nabs 'Star Maps,' 'Quadrille'

PARK CITY, Utah – Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide rights in all media to writer-director Miguel Arteta’s “Star Maps,” for what sources estimate to be $2.5 million.

The debut feature about a Mexican-American hustler is playing in the American Spectrum sidebar here at the Sundance Festival.

In addition, Fox Searchlight president Lindsay Law closed a deal here for British stage director Sean Mathias to bring his version of Noel Coward’s “Quadrille” to the bigscreen, with Kristin Scott Thomas mentioned for the role of Serena.

The play is a drawing-room comedy about how a jilted husband and wife fall in love after their respective spouses run off together. Pic is set to shoot in London and on the French Riviera this May.

On “Quadrille,” U.S. producers are Wes Moore and John Williams of Vanguard Films (“Seven Years in Tibet”). In the U.K., Initial Film & Television’s Eileen Quinn, as well as Eric Fellner and Steve Clark of Skyline, will handle similar chores there.

Skyline was recently involved with Alan Rickman’s “The Winter Guest,” which Ed Pressman and Ken Lipper also produced.

The “Star Maps” deal went down Tuesday night after a screening at the Park City Library Center. Law, together with acquisition VPs Bob Aaronson and Michael Jenkinson, collared the pic’s producer Matthew Greenfield, while the filmmaker was finishing his post-screening Q&A. Rudolph & Beer attorney Jed Alpert repped the film.

As part of the acquisition deal, Law noted that he had inked Greenfield and Arteta to a first-look deal. “We’re looking forward to generating another project with this filmmaking team,” added Law, whose division is premiering Peter Cattaneo’s “The Full Monty” and giving Emma Kate Croghan’s “Love & Other Catastrophes” its first Stateside showing. Both are in the World Cinema sidebar.

“We are excited and honored that Fox Searchlight will be distributing ‘Star Maps,”’ said Arteta. “Their enthusiasm and vision for how to market the picture impressed us.”

Added Greenfield, “Lindsay’s experience in producing and marketing ‘El Norte’ and ‘Stand and Deliver’ to mainstream audiences gives him a unique perspective on ‘Star Maps.’ After four years of struggle to get this film made we could not be happier.”

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