MONTREAL — Formed from the ashes of troubled Canuck distrib Behaviour Distribution, Seville Pictures, which combines the operations of Behaviour Distribution and small Montreal production company Industry Entertainment, officially opened for business this week.
Industry inked a deal in August to pay C$4 million ($2.7 million) to buy Behaviour Distribution from parent company Behaviour Communications. Seville is the product of that deal.
But Seville is positioning itself as a company with a different mandate from Behaviour’s, with more of a niche approach. Unlike Behaviour, Seville does not have any film-output deals for the Great White North and is not seeking such deals. It will focus on specialty Canadian and foreign pics and expects to handle much less volume than Behaviour.
Seville already has deals to distribute a number of high-profile Canuck film projects, notably “Wives of Bath,” “Emporte-Moi” helmer Lea Pool’s first English-language feature. The girls-school tale, based on the novel by Canadian author Susan Swann, will be produced by Greg Dummett and Lorraine Richard. Pic will shoot next spring.
Seville also has deals in place to take world rights to “Wild Mustard,” a project from Prince Edward Island-based producers Gretha Rose and Lawrie Rotenberg, and Quebec pic “Nuit de Noces” to be directed by “Louis 19” scribe Emile Gaudreault and produced by Denise Robert (“15 Moments”).
“The strategy has changed,” said David Reckziegel, who will be running Seville with partners John Hamilton and Pierre Brousseau. “Behaviour was trying to compete with Alliance and get all the output deals. We’re trying to be a smaller, specialty distributor. We’re trying to establish relationships with filmmakers and handle all of their films. It’s more filmmaker-driven. We’ll be putting a lot of effort into Canadian films.”
Seville Pictures will continue to produce indie pics in the $2 million to $5 million range. Projects in development include U.K. helmer Lucy Phillips’ punk-rock film “Pretty Vacant,” novelist Paul Quarrington’s hockey tale “Logan in Overtime” and screenwriter Max Sartor’s Italian-flavored comedy “The Dolce Vitas.”
Foreign pics on the Seville distribution slate include Sam Karmann’s “Kennedy et Moi,” U.K. director John Duigan’s “Paranoia” and Australian helmer John Polson’s “Siam Sunset.” In addition, Seville is poised to release in Canada the restored version of “Caligula”; Stephan Elliot’s “Eye of the Beholder,” with Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd; and Deepa Mehta’s “Water.”
According to Reckziegel, Behaviour Communications owner Richard Szalwinski, a minority stakeholder in Seville Pictures, intends eventually to withdraw financially.
With the completion of the sale of Behaviour Distribution, financially strapped Behaviour Communications now has only one major active division left, Los Angeles-based Behaviour Worldwide.
Brousseau is one of Canada’s most seasoned distribution execs, who was most recently with Behaviour. Prior to that, he held a senior position at Alliance Releasing. Reckziegel and Hamilton were the owners of Industry Entertainment.