Producer sells Portuguese catalog

Library includes works of Oliveira, Monteiro, Lopes

Portugal’s best-known film producer, Paulo Branco, has sold his 120-title film catalog to Portugal Telecom Multimedia for a reported E6 million ($7.3 million) to stem crippling debts notched up by his Millennium cinema chain.

The library includes the crown jewels of Portuguese cinema, including the works of helmers Manoel de Oliveira, Joao Cesar Monteiro and Fernando Lopes plus several 1940s comedy classics.

The ICAM Portuguese Film Institute has given PT Multimedia permission to deduct the purchase fee from its mandatory contribution to a new Film Investment Fund.

Millennium, $26.6 million in debt, began insolvency proceedings in June.

A significant proportion of Millennium’s debts are associated with the 21-screen Millennium Freeport, which was Portugal’s largest multiplex until it closed late 2005 with admissions below 250,000.

Branco has filed suit against Freeport for $18.2 million in compensation, alleging Freeport breached its contract regarding marketing the multiplex.

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