U.K. film outfit inks co-prod'n, distrib'n deal for next 16 pics

LONDON — FilmFour has tapped into the wealth of the German market by inking a major co-production and distribution deal with Berlin-based Senator Film.

Senator has committed to co-finance the next 16 projects of the U.K.’s FilmFour, although it has the option to pass on two of them.

First pic to go through the deal is likely to be “Our Lucky Break,” a jailbreak comedy to be directed by Peter Cattaneo (“The Full Monty”).

Under the output deal, Senator will take rights for German-speaking countries and get a share of worldwide distribution profits, but it will not have any creative input into the films.

Global drive

FilmFour has never before struck such an extensive co-production pact, which reflects the company’s drive to produce bigger films with greater commercial potential worldwide.

“This output deal is key for us at FilmFour and represents a major step toward our goal of establishing strategic partnerships such as this one around the world,” said Sue Bruce-Smith, director of worldwide sales and marketing.

Senator chairman Hanno Huth commented: “FilmFour was and remains our first choice as a partner in a venture as comprehensive as this one. Our mutual potential is huge, especially if you look at FilmFour’s considerable financial and creative resources.”

FilmFour has an annual production budget of around $57 million. The Senator deal covers its slate for approximately the next two years, starting with the next pic to be greenlit. Other previously announced projects likely to fall under the pact include “Charlotte Gray” and the historical biopic “Henry and Anne.”

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