Miriam Segal’s U.K.-based Good Films is launching an ambitious slate of half a dozen films with budgets between $10 million and $55 million — with plans to start production on all six movies by 2015.
Segal, best known for producing the TV series “EastEnders,” told Variety that the pics were chosen for carrying compelling storylines that will work on an international basis. She also said the slate approach made more sense from the standpoint of attracting rational investors.
“No one is wearing bonnets in these films,” she added.
Segal is using affiliate George Films for packaging and development with Diane Stidham and Jill Morris on board. The trio came to AFM for meetings with bankers.
First up will be an adaptation of Croatian writer Tena Stivicic’s play “Invisible” with Mexican director Everado Gaut (“Days of Grace” on board to helm. Story ?similar to Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” and Paul Haggis’ “Crash” ?focuses on the intersecting stories of an international group of immigrants and a single Britisher who is disquieted at no longer belonging.
The budget on “Invisible” is $13 million with shooting planned for London and the U.S. Casting is underway.
Brad Furman will direct the second project, “The Infiltrator,” a $55 million thriller set in Miami, London, Paris, and New York with shooting set for the spring of 2014.
Story centers on a small-time business man with mob connections who becomes Florida’s go-to guy for drug lords needing to turn their cash into clean currency.
Good Films is also developing “What I Loved,” adapted from Siri Hustvedt’s novel about two families in New York’s Soho District dealing with the aftermath of one of their sons dying in an accident while another son becomes involved with the underground club scene. Budget is $18 million with shooting set for 2014/2015.
The company’s also planning a 2014/2015 shoot for “When a Crocodile East the Sun,” based on Peter Goodwin’s screenplay about a man raised in Zimbabwe who enjoys a respite in New York from turmoil of his homeland until 9/11. Budget is $15 million with shooting planned for South Africa, London and New York.
Good Films is planning a 2015 shoot for “Postcard Killers,” adapted from the joint novel by James Patterson and Liza Marklund in which couples are being murdered across Europe with postcards being sent to reporters about the next crime ?leading to a New York detective and a Swedish reporter joining forces to track down the killer. Budget is $25 million with shoots in Stockholm, Berlin and New York.
Also set for 2015 is “The F**k It Button,” based on Polly Steele’s screenplay about a mother of three who refuses to fit in. Movie is budgeted at $10 million with shooting in London, Africa and France.
Segal, a producer on the 2008 Viggo Mortensen drama “Good,” touted the financing as being transparent for investors.
“With increased scrutiny on tax evasion and the misuse of tax-leveraging loopholes, we wanted to employ and demonstrate the smart way of funding movies, using EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme), which is completely transparent and looks after those stakeholders whose investments help underpin the independent filmmaking community,” she said.
Consultant producer Morris, whose producing credits include “In Bruges” and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” said she came on board due to the solid financing structure along with Segal’s passion for the ideas.
“You have to love movies because they are so hard to make,” she added.
Good Films has brought London investor Martin Rushton-Turneron board along with Stidham, who worked on “Drive.”
The company will probably begin foreign sales on “Invisible” at Berlin and on “The Infiltrator” — based on the true-life story of special agent Robert Mazur — at Cannes.
Segal said that Good Films is attempting to avoid what she believes is overly “romantic” approach to filmmaking in the U.K. with movies not aimed to attract a broad audience. “When you finance a film in America, there’s a ruthlessness about it because it has to work,” she added.