Independent move

Borno gets int'l duties at start-up distrib

Former Kushner-Locke sales chief Pascal Borno has joined Independent Pictures, the financing and production outfit of “Scream” and “Cop Land” producer Cary Woods, as senior VP.

Borno will be in charge of international distribution for the nascent company, which Woods formed last year. Independent has a five-year, 20-pic domestic distribution deal with New Line Cinema.

Borno’s duties will include overseeing all international sales and distribution of Independent’s pics and forming long-term relationships with its foreign distribution partners.

“I am thrilled to have someone with Pascal’s experience and background joining Independent Pictures,” Woods said. “I know that he will make a major contribution as we seek to forge relationships in international relations.”

Foreign coin

Borno said that, at least initially, Independent is unlikely to strike any formal output deals. However, the company will seek to raise a certain amount of pic financing from its foreign partners and will probably seek to work with one company in each major territory.

Foreign distrib interest in Independent is partially due to the “put” nature of its New Line deal, under which the Time Warner-owned studio guarantees its films domestic distribution. Most independent companies that finance their own films are still forced to sell them on the open market in the U.S., and many pics never find a theatrical buyer.

Aside from its own films produced by Woods, Independent will make a certain number of worldwide acquisitions and will act as an agent for other producers’ pics.

Awaiting pix

However, Independent has yet to announce a single title, although Woods has acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to the Canadian comedy “Dog Park,” starring Natasha Henstridge.

Borno will attend the Sundance and Berlin film festivals, but Independent will open its first sales booth at the American Film Market in late February.

Woods formed Independent in May 1998 with $30 million in secured capital, including a $10 million investment from New Line. Independent will be closely involved with the domestic marketing and distribution of its pics. Ray Price had been set to join the company in that role, but negotiations broke down.

Borno began his career at New World Pictures. Aside from K-L, he has worked for Vision Intl., Dino De Laurentiis, ITC and run his own outfit, Conquistador Entertainment.

Woods was formerly based at Miramax. His other producing credits include “Kids,” “Swingers” and “Gummo.”

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