Silver sez U will do splits

CANNES — Universal Pictures chairman Casey Silver told more than 100 foreign distrib execs Friday that the studio will seek out more split-rights deals and co-ventures for both studio English-speaking fare and locally produced international pics (Daily Variety, May 8).

Speaking at a luncheon at the Carlton Hotel, he also officially announced to the foreign community the acquisition of October Films, introducing co-managing directors Bingham Ray, Amir Malin and John Schmidt.

Silver noted that in the new deal with October, the arthouse’s pics would be distribbed by UIP, Universal’s longtime joint international arm shared by U, Paramount and MGM.

But October already has engaged plans to maintain its own foreign sales office.

A Universal source said the distribution for the division would likely be a mix of UIP and foreign sales.

Silver also introduced the team of U senior executives who will oversee the studio’s foreign interests. They include Silver; Chris McGurk, chief operating officer; John Gumper, exec VP of the motion picture group; Jim Burke, senior VP of international operations; Matt Wall, director of acquisitions; and Nadia Bronson, exec VP of international marketing.

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