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Red Sky inks deal with Stratosphere

'Tough Cop' first release under distribution pact

TORONTO — Vancouver-based distrib Red Sky Entertainment has inked an exclusive, two-year output deal with New York-based Stratosphere Entertainment, giving Red Sky Canadian rights in all media to the Stratosphere pics during that period.

The agreement is a significant step forward for the upstart Canadian film distributor — which was created last October by a group of former Alliance Releasing executives — because it gives Red Sky at least one steady supplier of product.

The first title under the new deal is the police drama “One Tough Cop” from helmer Bruno Barreto (“Four Days in September”) and producer Martin Bregman (“Scarface”).

The pic, which is set to open in both the U.S. and Canada Oct. 9, stars Stephen Baldwin (“The Usual Suspects”), Chris Penn (“True Romance”) and Gina Gershon (“Bound”).

Similar philosophy

“Stratosphere is something we pursued quite vigorously because their philosophy matches ours,” said Red Sky Entertainment president Tony Cianciotta. “They like the same kind of films. It’s important for us because it frees us up from going around and chasing films. It gives us a little bit of breathing room.”

Stratosphere will likely deliver nine or 10 pics annually to Red Sky, per Stratosphere Entertainment president and CEO Paul Cohen.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to have a strategic partner in Canada,” said Cohen. “Also, they have experience in both foreign and English-language films.”

Other pics in the output deal include: “The School of Flesh” (L’Ecole de la Chair), a Gala series title at Toronto starring Isabelle Huppert and directed by Benoit Jacquot (“Seventh Heaven”); “Hideous Kinky,” directed by Gillies Mackinnon (“Regeneration”), and toplining Kate Winslet (“Titanic”) and Gallic thesp Said Taghmaoui (“La Haine”); German comedy “Bandits”; Australian drama “The Boys” starring Toni Collette and David Wenham (“Dark City”); L.A. satire “The Last Big Thing”; Austrian pic “The Inheritors”; “Six Ways to Sunday” featuring Norman Reedus (“Mimic”), Deborah Harry, Elina Lowinson (“Flirt”) and Isaac Hayes (“Illtown”); and Chinese love story “Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl,” the helming debut of actress Joan Chen.

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