Draper to head unit

CANNES — British digital studio Slingshot has launched a U.K. distribution arm, headed by former Fox Searchlight and Icon exec Elizabeth Draper.

The company plans to release 10-12 titles a year, combining its own productions with worldwide acquisitions. Slingshot’s first two productions are “Sugarhouse,” a psychological thriller starring Ashley Walters, and romantic comedy “French Film,” starring Hugh Bonneville and Anne-Marie Duff.

Slingshot was launched last year with backing from Arts Alliance and the Creative Capital Fund. Its philosophy is to employ an all-digital, low-cost approach to filmmaking, offering gross participation to cast and crew in return for reduced upfront payments.

It intends to use digital technology in similarly innovative ways for distribution. It has struck a deal with Arts Alliance, which also owns the arthouse circuit City Screen and the online DVD rental and download site Lovefilm, to handle the digital storage and distribution of Slingshot’s titles.

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