Wide Management exec hangs own shingle

French sales and acquisition exec Matteo Lovadina has launched Reel Suspects, a Paris-based sales and co-production company. The outfit will specialize on European arthouse fare, ranging from genre and niche films to documentaries, with an eye on emerging filmmakers.

“I felt like it was the right timing to launch my own company: The international market is evolving in new directions, and niches are constantly growing,” said Lovadina, who worked for more than 10 years as Wide Management’s sales and acquisitions topper. Reel Suspects is developing two projects directed by Elisa Mishto: her narrative feature debut, the psychological thriller “On the Border,” and docu-drama “Almost Winner.”

“Almost Winner,” which Lovadina describes as a mix of “When We Were Kings” and “Man on Wire,” takes place in the boxing world. “On the Border” centers on a psychiatric nurse’s ambiguous relationship with a troubled patient. Mishto’s docu “States of Mind” preemed at the Intl. Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2007.

Lovadina said he’s looking for Eastern European co-production partners for “On the Border.”

Reel Suspects will hit Rotterdam and Berlin with three main titles on its sales slate: Koen Mortier’s Flemish-language thriller “22nd of May”; Lithuanian first-timer Saulius Drunga’s drama “Anarchy in Zirmunai”; and French director Laurent Bouhnik’s “Q,” chronicling the love and sex lives of a handful of young French folks.

“Anarchy in Zirmunai,” which previously won the Media New Talent Award at Cannes, follows a provincial girl who moves to a big city and develops an unlikely friendship with another girl. Pic will have its market premiere at Berlin.

Meanwhile, “22nd of May” preemed at Toronto and will be screened at Rotterdam in the Bright Future Selection. It will also play in Istanbul and Hong Kong. Pic follows a mall cop in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

The company’s building catalog features pics from first-timers as well as classic films from better-known directors, such as “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by Marc Allegret. Lovadina said he plans on acquiring four to five completed films and one or two projects a year, and will attend most key festivals and markets, including Rotterdam, Berlin, Mip TV, Cannes, Toronto, Mipcom and Rome.

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