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Reborn Mikado makes acquisitions

Italian distrib picks up 'Submarino,' 'Infidel'

ROME — Debuting under new ownership, Italo indie shingle Mikado has closed a clutch of acquisitions — including Berlin titles “Submarino” and “The Infidel” — while prepping Alejandro Amenabar’s epic “Agora,” the first release in its new incarnation.

Italian entrepreneur Franco Tato took a 51% stake in the 26-year-old Mikado, which has longstanding cachet with Italy’s arthouse crowd, from the De Agostini media group last year.

“The mandate I have from Tato is to carry forth the Mikado brand and focus on quality cinema,” said new Mikado head of acquisitions and co-productions Marcello Paolillo. “But times have changed and pure arthouse no longer works; so we are going for movies that can play both in arthouses and multiplexes.”

Thomas Vinterberg’s Danish drama “Submarino,” acquired from Match Factory, fits the bill as does British laffer “The Infidel,” about a Muslim taxi driver who discovers he’s Jewish.

“Infidel,” sold by London-based The Salt Company, will likely be Mikado’s Christmas release.

Amenabar’s $70 million “Agora,” which Mikado bought at AFM from Cinetic Media, will be released in Italy on April 23.

Other Mikado pickups include Australian crimer “Animal Kingdom” by tyro helmer David Michod. Mikado was the first company to pick up this hot Sundance pic from E1 Entertainment.

It also has David Duchovny and Demi Moore starrer “The Joneses,” acquired from FilmNation in Toronto, and “Bhutto,” a documentary about the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, purchased from Icon Entertainment at Sundance.

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