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Inside Move: Signpost shifts focus

Backers close minority investment in Lakeshore Ent.

Stewart Till’s Signpost Films is winding down its international sales operations in order to focus on production and direct distribution, CDP Capital Entertainment chairman Henry Winterstern told Daily Variety on Friday.

Meanwhile, Signpost backer CDP and Mosaic Media Group just closed a minority investment in Lakeshore Entertainment, which will now handle foreign sales on MGM’s “Bulletproof Monk.” Signpost originally repped the pic (Daily Variety, Sept. 20).

CDP’s new investment, Winterstern said, puts Lakeshore in the position of serving as the international sales operation for the CDP/Mosaic family of companies. These include Atlas Entertainment, the Gold/Miller Co. and Dick Clark Prods.

Currently unclear is exactly what Till’s revised production and distribution plans for Signpost may be, when they would be put into play and who will be footing the bill.

Establishing direct distribution was initially a top priority for Signpost, but in March Signpost closed its Canadian distribution offices in Montreal and Toronto just a month after opening them. The reason, Signpost’s worldwide distribution prexy Darryl Iwai said, was they’d opened the offices too soon; no Signpost product would be available until 2003 (Daily Variety, March 25).

Since then, Signpost has announced only a partnership with Hoyts Distribution on an Australian distribution arm, to bow in January (Daily Variety, May 7).

As for production plans, Signpost production prexy Nina Sadowsky has been attracting thesps with plans to produce Emilio Estevez’s “Bobby,” a drama about the assassination of Robert Kennedy. However, that project does not have a greenlight, and it’s unclear when it may.

Although Signpost originally hoped to produce about six titles a year, the currently depressed indie climate suggests that Till may now set Signpost’s sights somewhat lower. Signpost remains under pressure from CDP to find fresh equity, as CDP isn’t willing to continue funding the company as a solo act.

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