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Portman taps Affrime

American producer slides into L.A. slot

London-based Portman Entertainment has tapped American indie producer Mindy Affrime to head the company’s new Los Angeles office.

Affrime, whose credits include “Female Perversions” starring Tilda Swinton and Portman’s “Wrestling with Alligators,” will be charged with acquiring, co-financing or co-producing two or three American projects a year for Portman.

At the same time, Portman has secured its first credit line dedicated solely to film acquisitions and production, enabling the company to draw down sales advances sufficient to stock a slate of around six pics a year.

The facility is being provided by Banque Intl. a Luxembourg, and was arranged by Adrian Scrope of FILMS Ltd., in association with Edwige Rolin, the director of BIL’s London-based media division.

Affrime, who will continue to operate her eponymous production company, says her task is “to open the doors for Portman to the American independents.” She reports that U.S. indie talent is increasingly looking for European finance, and that this is mirrored by a growing number of American scripts set in Europe.

Portman has already started dipping its toe into that pool with its recent pickup “Cadillac,” premiering at Cannes, and “Wrestling With Alligators,” which screened at Sundance. Along with the U.K., the company is also active in Australia and New Zealand. Its first Kiwi pic, the low-budget “Via Satellite,” is attracting considerable buyer curiosity ahead of its world premiere screening in the Cannes market May 17.

Affrime also previously ran Roland Joffe’s Lightmotive banner.

The move to open an L.A. office follows the arrival of former Warner and Polygram exec Xavier Marchand as managing director of Portman.

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