VC Multimedia forges indie links

Portuguese distributor strengthens slate

MADRID — Staking out its turf as one of Portugal’s most powerful indie distribs, new Lisbon outfit VC Multimedia has acquired all Portuguese rights to “Woodstock,” “Ondine” and “Five Minutes From Heaven.”

The acquisitions follow an output deal, inked early October, with L.A.-based sales and production house Myriad Pictures. First films put through the pact will be Korean time-travel toonpic “Dino Mom” and Bruno Barreto’s Brazilian Oscar candidate, “Last Stop 174.”

The pickups see VC Multimedia dealing with some of the biggest suppliers on the independent market. Many titles boast stars, or star directors.

Sold by Focus, “Woodstock” is helmed by Ang Lee; “Five Minutes From Heaven,” Oliver Hirschbiegel’s follow-up to “The Fall,” is sourced from Pathe Intl.

Other acquisitions, making up VC’s first distribution slate, show it primarily working a groove of upscale mainstream fare, often by name directors: Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go,” from Focus; Bruce Beresford’s “Mao’s Last Dancer,” from Celluloid Dreams; Anand Tucker’s Danish painter story, “Danish Girl,” with Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron; and Mikael Hafstrom’s “Shanghai,” with John Cusack, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe, produced by The Weinstein Co.

Launched April 2008, VC Multimedia, like sister production house VC Filmes, forms part of Portugal’s Valentim de Carvalho Group, whose tentacles stretch into music, TV production, studio facilities and multimedia.

VC Multimedia’s strategy is “to focus on two targets: films produced by VC Filmes and third-party acquisitions,” said Luis Froes, VC Multimedia head of acquisitions.

“We’ll release around a dozen films per year, including two to three of our own productions,” he added.

Company’s first release, the VC Filmes-produced “Amalia,” an ambitious bio of the fado legend, has taken 80,000 admissions in 10 days from a Dec. 5 bow, heralding new ambitions for crowd-pleasing Portuguese productions.

VC Multimedia also handles international on VC Filmes output and third-party pickups.

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