Helmer signs first-look deal with Fortissimo

Jim Jarmusch, whose latest pic “Broken Flowers” premieres in the Cannes competition today, has struck a multi-year first-look deal with Fortissimo Films.

This is the first time Fortissimo has entered a formal long-term relationship with an individual filmmaker, and marks a major step forward by the Hong Kong and Amsterdam-based sales company in its drive for English-language movies.

Fortissimo has agreed to provide financing to upcoming Jarmusch films, including a contribution to the overheads of his New York-based production banner Exoskeleton.

“We’re making a very bold statement in concluding this deal with Exoskeleton,” commented Fortissimo co-topper Michael J. Werner. “We’ve been working with them for three years, and we’re now committing substantial fiscal resources to nurturing their future slate.”

Fortissimo previously handled sales for Jarmusch’s 2003 pic “Coffee and Cigarettes.” He has since entrusted the company with managing his library, including “Stranger Than Paradise,” “Down By Law” and “Dead Man.”

Stacey Smith of Exoskeleton said, “Fortissimo has impressed us over the last few years with their integrity and strong results on ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ and their meticulous care of Jim’s library. We are proud to expand our relationship.”

The overhead deal was brokered by CAA’s Bart Walker. “Broken Flowers” is being distributed worldwide by Focus Features.

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