Hal, Miramax severing ties in London office

LONDON — HAL Films, the U.K. production venture headed by David Aukin, Colin Leventhal and Trea Hoving, is expected to announce later this week that it is splitting from Miramax Films.

In its place, Miramax plans to open a new London office, which is likely to be headed by HAL development chief Allon Reich.

HAL was launched two years ago as a partnership between Miramax and the trio of London-based execs. Aukin and Leventhal came from Channel 4, while Hoving previously worked for Miramax.

Miramax committed a rolling $50 million production fund and $3 million in development coin to HAL, which in turn took over operations of Miramax’s London office.

But the relationship between London and New York soon became strained over the issue of HAL’s supposed autonomy. The HAL trio found their freedom to maneuver far more constrained than they expected.

HAL did manage to produce “Elephant Juice” (Miramax opposed the project and is now refusing to release the pic in the U.S.), along with “Mansfield Park” and “About Adam.” It also played a role in bringing “Birthday Girl” to Miramax.

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