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Fox pacts with A Co. in Russia

Studio inks two-year sales and distribution deal

Twentieth Century Fox and Berlin-based A Co., one of the leading licensing shingles in Central and Eastern Europe, have inked a two-year sales and distribution deal in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, where it recently launched a distrib.

Moscow-based A Co. Distribution will handle major indie features alongside commercial European and Russian productions, among them the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer’s “Cloud Atlas,” starring Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant; John Erick Dowdle’s “The Coup,” with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan; and Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills.”

A Co. CEO Alexander van Duelmen said setting up the Russian distrib has been an integral part of its expansion strategy in the region, following its acquisition of Budapest Film in Hungary three years ago and the establishment last year of its EEAP distrib in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“Having our own set-up in the fifth largest theatrical market in the world enables us to better maximize the potential of our content, to control our own destiny and tailor the marketing to suit the specific tastes of this vast territory, and ultimately, to participate in the significant upside we see in the CIS,” van Duelmen said.

“Working with 20th Century Fox, under the leadership of Vadim Smirnoff, we secure an outstanding sales team with a formidable presence in the market that will be of enormous benefit to us both.”

A Co. Distribution will be headed by general manager Natalia Snigireva and Natasha Zlotnikova, who will oversee distribution and marketing.The distrib will release Stuart Beattie’s “I, Frankenstein”; Renny Harlin’s “Dyatlov Pass”; Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” whose producers include A Co. majority shareholder Alexander Rodnyansky.

Other titles include Adam Hashemi’s “Agent: Century 21,” starring Cameron Diaz and Benicio Del Toro; John Carney’s “Can a Song Save Your Life,” with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo; and Til Schweiger’s action thriller “Guardians.”

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