Shingle gets started with 'The Informer'

“Thelma & Louise” producer Mimi Polk Gitlin has formed Lion Eyes Entertainment, and the company is partnering with Paris-based Forecast Pictures to produce and finance films that will rely heavily on European co-production subsidies and equity funds.

Shingle gets started with “The Informer,” a geopolitical thriller written and to be directed by David Marconi. The film will shoot in Germany, Paris and the U.K. in the spring, Gitlin said.

Marconi’s screenwriting work includes “WW3.com” (currently being re-developed as “Die Hard IV”), and “Enemy of the State.”

“The Informer” is a post-9/11 thriller centered on an FBI agent who battles bureaucracy to root out terrorists. Marconi made his directing debut on the 1993 pic “The Harvest,” which he wrote. He had previously set up “The Informer” with Emmett/Furla Films (Daily Variety, Jan. 29, 2003).

Gitlin ran Tony and Ridley Scott’s production company for more than a decade. She most recently ran Gitlin Prods., which will be absorbed into the new venture.

Gitlin hatched several other projects before making this new alliance, including the John Jarell-scripted thriller “Subterranean,” which has Marcus Nispel attached to direct and is set up at Beacon Pictures.

Forecast was formed last summer by former TF1 Intl. execs Jean-Charles Levy and Caroline Dhainaut-Nollet and producer Anouk Nora. The company is designed to bankroll and produce pics budgeted between $5 million and $35 million. Gitlin said Lion Eyes will serve as Forecast’s L.A. outpost, sharing office space in Santa Monica.

“We see a niche in being able to supply studios with commercial product for a price, while allowing filmmakers to do things a little out of the box, with a bit more creative freedom than they usually get,” she said. The company also will be available to add completion financing for pictures that are almost ready to go.

Many of their films will shoot in European locales to tap co-production subsidies and capital. “The Informer” will be an Italy-U.K.-Germany co-prod, with the Italian component by way of Marconi bearing an Italo passport.

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