Production unit will launch at Cannes 2012

Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures has agreed to back Panorama Media, a new production, financing, and international sales entity based in Los Angeles.

Panorama will be run by company prexy Marc Butan and Kimberly Fox, the former Inferno exec who will serve as head of international sales.

Panorama’s mandate is to produce, finance and arrange for worldwide distribution on a slate of filmmaker-driven projects with broad commercial appeal. In addition to originating product for the worldwide marketplace, Panorama will also serve as the international sales agent on select Annapurna projects and quality third-party titles.

Panorama will launch at Cannes 2012 with its initial slate of films, including Kathryn Bigelow’s Navy SEAL pic, Spike Jonze’s untitled next project and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher,” which has Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum slated to star.

“I fully believe in Marc and Kim’s ability to develop and expand this business,” said Ellison, “I consistently see projects that I would like to support in addition to my current slate. Panorama will provide the extra bandwidth which will allow us the opportunity to get involved with these films.”

“I am looking forward to building an operation which suits the needs of both filmmakers and distributors worldwide while living up to the high standards set by Annapurna and its films,” said Butan.

“There is a great opportunity in the international markets today,” added Fox. ” Distributors are seeking, more than ever, high end theatrical titles – exactly the type of product that Panorama will generate.”

Butan previously served as prexy of 2929 Prods. and as exec VP of production at Lionsgate. He has overseen films including Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly,” John Hillcoat’s “The Road,” Andrew Niccol’s “The Host,” James Gray’s “We Own The Night” and George Clooney’s “Good Night and Good Luck.”

Fox joins Panorama after previous stints at Inferno, QED Intl. and KMI. Films handled by Fox include Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey” starring Liam Neeson, Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9″ and Oliver Stone’s “W.”

Annapurna has Hillcoat’s “Lawless” and “Killing Them Softly” in competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Company is currently in post-production on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” and Won Kar Wai’s “The Grandmasters.”

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