'Baby,' 'Bollywood,' 'In-Between' already on co. slate
SYDNEY — Industry vets Gary Hamilton and Victor Syrmis have thrown the switch on Arclight Films, an Australian-based sales and production company, which is jumping out of the gate fielding a mix of international and local films.The co-venture, unveiled today, combines Hamilton’s sales savvy and relationships with international distribs and Oz and British producers, with Syrmis’s financial clout and production experience. The firm already has quietly assembled a hefty slate of films for the Cannes market later this month. It includes three British films from the Spice Factory: “Baby Juice Express,” an action-comedy helmed by Mike Hurst, toplining Nick Moran (“Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels”); “Bollywood Queen,” a musical-romance directed by Jeremy Wooding; and “Mr. In-Between,” a murder-thriller from director Paul Sarossy. Also in its stable is U.S. drama “Face,” which preemed this year at the Sundance fest. Toplining Bai Ling (“Red Corner”) and helmed by Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, it’s the saga of a Chinese-American who flees a forced marriage. Its first Aussie acquisition is “Subterano,” a sci-fier starring Alex Dimitriades about a group of misfits trapped inside a deadly videogame. For Hamilton, Arclight is a fast segue from Beyond Films, where he was general manager for 12 years until he stepped down in March. Syrmis returned to Sydney after several years in the U.S., where his banner New Oz Prods. was in partnership with L.A.-based distrib Strand Releasing. Syrmis has been involved in nearly 40 films either as an investor, producer or distributor. Headquartered in Sydney, Arclight intends to sell six to seven movies each year and to develop and produce at least two Aussie movies annually. It also intends to open a London office soon. The firm aims to develop business relationships with emerging Australian directors, harnessing homegrown talent with commercial, mainstream projects. Hamilton said, “Australia creates a new group of directors, actors and producers that reach international acclaim every year, and Arclight will play a major role in that development.” “Australia is one of the most exciting film industries in the world, especially in terms of talent pool and production,” Syrmis commented.