New alliance culls six to pact for artpics

At last year’s Mifed, Paris-based sales company Celluloid Dreams pacted with eight Euro distribs to form a buying alliance for arthouse pics. But the deal fell apart at Cannes when Hengameh Panahi, the mercurial topper of Celluloid Dreams, changed her mind about selling 50% of her company to the distribs.

Now six of the original eight distribs, minus Italy’s BIM and Spain’s Golem, are pressing ahead with a new plan to create a joint company, based in Paris, that will coordinate acquisitions and tap institutional finance.

The partners are France’s Haut Et Court, Cinelibre/Cineart from Belgium, Fu Works from the Netherlands, Switzerland’s Frenetic Films, EyeScreen/Lucky Red in Italy, and Spain’s Alta Films.

The partners were due to meet in Milan before Mifed starts this coming weekend, in order to reach agreement on what to buy. Sources say they’ve got a number of projects on their radar, but the first pickup is likely to be a classic for re-release.

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