Breakthrough gives first look at Priestly debut

'Cas & Dylan' footage shown at AFM

Toronto-based Breakthrough Entertainment’s new film acquisitions and sales unit hits AFM for the first time his year, offering a first look at footage from Jason Priestly’s helming bow “Cas & Dylan,” currently in post, and the world market preems of three Canuck pics.

A well established, independently-owned producer and distributor of a wide range of fare — including factual, comedy, dramatic and animated series — Breakthrough previously concentrated primarily on smallscreen features, explains VP of movies Marina Cordoni, who joined the company in 2005 following exec stints at Norstar, PolyGram and Virgin Vision.

“We looked at the competitive marketplace and saw that a film sales division that is part of much bigger whole is attractive to producers, particularly first-time filmmaker who may not have yet built relationships in their own domestic market,” she said.

As part of its feature strategy, Breakthrough plans to pick global rights to around seven pics, including U.S. titles, annually, and may distribute some of its Canuck titles when a limited theatrical fits the bill. And, as it’s done with “Cas & Dylan,” Breakthrough will partner as an exec producer on select Canuck features.

“With Alliance and eOne getting into bigger budget (Canadian) films, we saw a space for someone to come in at the prebuy stage on three to four productions in the $1 to 10-million budget range with global rights and perhaps North American rights available,” Cordoni said.

“Cas & Dylan” is scripted by Jessie Gabe and stars Richard Dreyfuss as dying doctor who ends up on a road trip with an eccentric 22-year-old played by Tatiana Maslany. Pacific Northwest Pictures will distributes the pic in Canada; Breakthrough is selling world rights.

Breakthrough, which hosts a suite with a screening room at AFM, is also repping Jerry Ciccoritti’s Little Italy-set ensemble pic “The Resurrection of Tony Gitone,” Colin Carter and Sandra Feldman dark romcom “Please Kill Mr. Know It All” and Jacob Medjuck’s coming-of-age comedy “Summerhood.”

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