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HBO picks up 11 features from Overseas Filmgroup

O'seas with second TV deal in last three months

Time Warner-owned pay movie network HBO has acquired 11 feature films from Robbie and Ellen Little’s sales and distribution outfit, Overseas Filmgroup.

The package includes specialist titles such as the 1996 Norwegian Academy Award nominee for best foreign-language film, “The Other Side of Sunday”; Nancy Meckler’s drama “Alive and Kicking,” starring Jason Flemying and Anthony Sher; Richard Spence’s comedy “Different for Girls,” starring Rupert Graves; and Mary McGuckian’s drama “This is the Sea,” starring Richard Harris and Gabriel Byrne.

Following its announcement of a net loss for the nine-month period ending Sept. 30 of $467,718, Overseas said that it planned to make television sales of its 200-title library more of a priority, with an enhanced presence at TV markets such as Mip, Mipcom and NATPE. In November, Overseas concluded a similar TV deal with Viacom’s Showtime Networks for six titles, including Matthew Broderick’s “Infinity,” and David Hare’s “The Designated Mourner.”

“This marks our second significant cable television film package sale in recent months,” said Overseas co-chairman and co-CEO Robbie Little, “and it highlights our strategy to expand television as a market for our film library.”

As part of its new strategy, Overseas said that it was pursuing a domestic video output deal (the company currently licenses its product on a film-by-film basis) and that it had held talks with several entities. Like the Samuel Goldwyn Co. before it, Overseas also is selling remake or sequel rights to several of its library titles to larger companies, such as “The Prophecy II” to Miramax.

The other titles in the HBO package are Leon Iachso’s “Bitter Sugar;” Keoni Waxman’s “Countdown;” Felix Adlon’s “Eat Your Heart Out;” the Luke Perry vehicle “Lifebreath”; and Josef Rusnak’s “Quiet Days in Hollywood.”

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