Labadie sets up Le Pacte

Company to release six pics next year

PARIS — Jean Labadie has bounced back from his shock ousting from Bac Films in September with the launch of Le Pacte, his new independent distribution outfit.

The venture will eventually be involved in theatrical, video and TV distribution, as well as international film sales, production and co-production.

Le Pacte plans to distribute six feature films in France in 2008. The first, “Le Cahier,” helmed by Hana Makhmalbaf (“Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame”) and co-produced by Makhmalbaf Film House and Wild Bunch, will bow Feb. 20.

Other launches next year will include Jim Jarmusch’s “The Limit of Control,” produced by Focus Features, and Italian helmer Matteo Garrone’s Mafia drama “Gomorra,” acquired from Fandango.

Labadie tells Variety, Le Pacte’s first French-made film for distribution will be announced before the end of November, and that at least two features are due to be sold internationally next year. “Plans for 2009 include the distribution of 12 films, of which four will be sold internationally. We also intend to acquire library titles for DVD and television,” he says.

Labadie, in the process of assembling a full management team, is currently fully self-financing Le Pacte, mainly through selling off 5% of his stake in Bac, while retaining 10%. “To accelerate our development, we are planning to find financial and possibly also industry partners,” Labadie said. “We are already in discussion with several potential co-investors.”

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