Studio to distrib in Russia for indie

SOCHI, Russia — Universal Pictures Intl. (Russia) has signed a distribution deal for Russia and former Soviet territories with indie shingle Leopolis.

The deal covers films produced and acquired by Leopolis, a Moscow-based company set up in 2007 by Sergey Livnev.

Leopolis has had a string of hits in Russia that include comedy spoof “Hitler Kaput” and romantic comedies “Love in the City” and “Love in the City 2.”

Its slate for the second half of 2010 includes local thriller “PyraMMMide,” based on the real story of Sergey Mavrodi, creator of the biggest Russian Ponzi scheme of the mid-’90s.

International releases include Simon West’s “The Mechanic,” starring Jason Statham, and French hit “L’arnacoeur” (The Heartbreaker) by Pascal Chaumeil.

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