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Wild Bunch pacts with Senator

Deal extends European network

French film company Wild Bunch is joining forces with German media giant Senator.

The two have pacted to form a joint distribution venture in Germany after Wild Bunch acquired 50% of Senator’s shares in Central Film Verleih. Under the deal, Central Film will release Wild Bunch pics acquired for direct distribution in German theaters as well as on video and TV via Senator. For now, films will bow with the Central Films logo.

Move marks another significant step in solidifying Wild Bunch’s European distribution network, which includes France, Italy and Benelux.

Central Film Verleih became a self-contained distributor in April. Before that, the company offered distribution through its service of booking and billing only. Central Film releases MGM films and books for Senator and for other, individually acquired titles.

Their first projects were “The Flying Scotsman” from ContentFilm and “Breach” from Sidney Kimmel, both acquired for Germany by MGM. Upcoming titles include “Charlie Bartlett,” “Married Life” and “Lars and the Real Girl.”

Senator Entertainment AG’s efforts span movie production, distribution, television and music. Its recent theatrical releases include Tobi Baumann’s “Vollidiot,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” and the Stephen King adaptation “1408.”

L.A.-based Senator Entertainment Inc. has produced its first two international pics: “Fireflies in the Garden,” starring Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe, and “The Informers,” starring Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton, Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke.

Wild Bunch is an independent Paris-based European film distribution and production services company that manages a library of more than 1,150 films. It is a key player in international sales.

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