Puts pic arms under President banner

PARIS — Pubcaster France Television’s 10-year-old distribution division has merged its film units into a single entity, President Films, and unveiled ambitions to become a player in international film sales and the acquisition of French rights.

The purchase of French rights to John Woo’s MGM-produced “Windtalkers,” starring Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater, marks the first step in that direction. Deal was put together by the TV sales teams at MGM and France Television Distribution. Pathe will release the movie in Gallic theaters. A $25 million international co-production also could be greenlit in the weeks to come, and the company is developing two other international projects, President’s managing director Hugo Bergson Vuillaume told Daily Variety.

“You can’t make a company profitable with French films alone. Our ambition is to develop international co-productions, international pickups, and to hold French theatrical, TV and video rights of some movies.”

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