Pact aimed to tap US, Euro talent

Veteran U.K.-based sales company Vine Intl. Pictures will team on a four-pic slate with L.A. and Toronto-based production shingle Omega Pictures Intl. The aim is to tap a wealth of European and U.S. talent. Vine will co-finance the films through a $10 million-$12 million credit line, CEO Marie Vine said.

The rationale behind the Vine/ Omega alliance, Omega CEO Ken Nakamura said, “is to try to find the back door to get to the visible talent at reasonable price points so that the risk for buyers makes sense.”

The highest-profile of the pics, the $8 million romantic comedy “Bum$,” has a distinctly French flavor. It will star Jean Reno (“Mission Impossible,” “Ronin”) and Julie Delpy (“Killing Zoe”) and will be directed by Ted Kotcheff (“First Blood”). “Bum$” is produced by veteran French filmmaker Andre Farwagi, whose most recent feature, “Les Grandes Bouches,” is being distributed by Polygram. “Bum$” is skedded to shoot this fall.

First before the cameras is “Cash Cows,” shooting in May, a $5 million Robert Mandl-scripted suspense thriller to be directed by Ate de Jong (“Drop Dead Fred”) and starring Brigitte Bako and Jeroen Krabbe.

Next off, in early June, is “The Burman Project” (aka “The Spreading Ground”), the directorial debut of cinematographer Mark Irwin (“There’s Something About Mary”). Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Seymour Cassel and Jill Hennessy head up the cast of the thriller, inspired by Fritz Lang’s “M.”

Omega CEO Ken Nakamura and Vine are also in talks for Andy Garcia to star alongside an already cast Daryl Hannah in “Tripwire.” Ringo Lam is in talks to direct the pic, which will shoot early fall.

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