D’Works, Mister Smith pact for int’l distrib

London-based co. will handle Europe, Mideast, Africa

DreamWorks Studios has signed an agency deal with London-based Mister Smith Entertainment, which will take over for The Walk Disney Co. in handling the licensing and servicing of DreamWorks Studios product in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Deal covers all media.

The Walt Disney Co. will continue to manage distribution of DreamWorks’ films in the U.S. and other territories not covered by Mister Smith Entertainment. DreamWorks partner Reliance retains distribution of the films in India.

The first group of films covered under the deal with Mister Smith includes Ken Scott’s untitled remake of his hit French-Canadian comedy “Starbuck,” which begins principal photography in October, and Scott Waugh’s racing pic “Need for Speed,” which begins shooting early next year. As previously announced, foreign distribution on upcoming DreamWorks releases “Lincoln” and “Robopocalypse” will be handled by Twentieth Century Fox, which is also a co-financier on both of those projects.

“David has a proven track record, and his years of experience in building Summit International will help us in this next step of growing our business,” said Jeff Small, prexy/COO of DreamWorks Studios. “This partnership allows us to best capitalize on the expanding global marketplace and generate foreign sales as a revenue source. We appreciate Disney’s continued support of our company and our ongoing partnership.”

“I am incredibly excited to be working with Stacey, Steven, Jeff and the DreamWorks team,” said David Garrett, CEO of Mister Smith Entertainment. “I could not hope to be working with a more exceptionally talented and delightful group of people, and I hope that we will find a way of creating new and exciting synergies together, in the ever-changing international landscape. DreamWorks also have a very compelling, original and diverse slate of pictures in development, which iswonderfully refreshing. We also hugely look forward to working with the Disney team, who have been so supportive of DreamWorks’ new strategy.”

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