Caruso, Conte set up shingle

NEW YORK — Veteran film producers Fred Caruso and Dino Constantine Conte have launched shingle Wildflower Entertainment to produce movies and TV shows.

Funding for the venture has been secured by deals with private equity investors in Eastern Europe, South Korea and Taiwan that have been designated as the Euro-Asian Venture Fund 2010 and the Ridgewood Overseas Venture Fund. They will work essentially as revolving lines of credit, according to Caruso, who has longtime business associations in those regions.

With offices in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Wildflower already has six projects in the pipeline with budgets ranging from $20 million to $40 million.

Caruso told Daily Variety that entertainment lawyer Barry Hirsch would be handling whatever deals the company makes with domestic distributors and foreign sales agents for these projects, and that the Cannes Film Festival will be the first official outing for the company.

Among the projects:

  • “The November Man,” a thriller with Pierce Brosnan attached, is based on Bill Granger novel “There Are No Spies.” It will be produced with Beau St. Clair. A script is in progress and shooting is planned in 2006.

  • A contempo suspense movie loosely inspired by the story of the jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, “Looking for Chet Baker” will be produced in association with Satya De La Manitou and is based on a novel by Bill Moody. T-Bone Burnett, who wrote the score for “Walk the Line,” has been attached to the film.

  • “Coronado P.D.,” planned as an all-barter syndicated TV hour, will focus on sex crimes on the island off San Diego. The series has James Brolin attached to star and will be produced by Jeff Wald. It will be filmed on Coronado and in San Diego in association with Stu Segall Studios.

Caruso’s film credits as exec producer, producer and production manager include “Blue Velvet,” “Network,” “Once Upon a Time in America” and “The Godfather.”

Conte has produced and been associated with movies including “No Mercy,” “48 Hours” and “The Presidio.” He recently produced the musical “Paint Your Wagon” at the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles.

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