Distrib gets Brit, Canuck rights

MONTREAL — In another key addition to the Canuck company’s U.K. release slate, Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution has acquired British helmer Eric Styles’ “Relative Values” for the U.K. and Canada.

Alliance Atlantis U.K., now a joint venture with Kinowelt, is beefing up its presence in Britain with a release schedule that includes 18 pics in 2000.

Other titles on the slate there include Istvan Szabo’s Ralph Fiennes starrer “Sunshine,” Shane Meadows’ “A Room for Romeo Brass,” Jeremy Podeswa’s “The Five Senses,” Pat Murphy’s “Nora” with Ewan McGregor, Alison MacLean’s “Jesus’ Son” and Denys Arcand’s “15 Moments.”

“Relative Values” stars Julie Andrews, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Colin Firth, Stephen Fry, Edward Atterton and William Baldwin.

Paul Rattigan and Michael Walker penned the pic, based on the Noel Coward play. Christopher Milburn produced for Midsummer Films.

Lensing wrapped Sept. 10 after a six-week shoot on the Isle of Man. The film is helmer Styles’ second feature, following “Dreaming of Joseph Lees,” also produced by Milburn, which 20th Century Fox will be releasing later this year. The Overseas Film Group is handling global sales on “Relative Values.”

In the satire of Britain’s postwar classist society, Andrews plays the Countess of Marshwood, whose son (Atterton) is keen to marry Hollywood actress Miranda Frayle (Tripplehorn). Firth portrays the countess’s nephew, Fry is an urbane friend, and Baldwin plays a drunken Hollywood star.

“We are delighted to add ‘Relative Values’ to our release schedule in both the U.K. and Canada,” said Patrice Theroux, prexy of Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution. “It is a funny script with a fantastic cast. It’s the type of British comedy that seems to be doing well these days.”

Following the recent deal giving German distrib Kinowelt a 50% stake in Alliance Atlantis U.K., the London-based company will be acquiring more pricey, high-profile pics, according to Theroux.

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