London-based production house Film and Music Entertainment, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has expanded its 2015/2016 active production slate to 12 pictures. The company has produced more than 50 feature films in-house.
F&ME, which is headed by Mike Downey and Sam Taylor, has come on board Bodo Kox’s screenplay “The Man With the Magic Box,” produced by Iza Igel at Alter Ego Prods., and is in an advanced stage of negotiation with Polish partners to join Andrzej Jakimowski’s new production, as well as a collaboration with producers Radoslaw Drabik and Michal Kachinski, whose rom-com “Planet Single” has been blazing a trail at the Polish box office in the last 10 days.
F&ME’s slate includes “I Want to Be Like You,” by writer-director Konstantin Bojanov, which is in post-production in Berlin. The road movie about a young artist’s journey to meet his hero stars “71’s” Barry Keoghan, Kim Bodnia (“Pusher”) and Thure Lindhardt (“Angels and Demons”). A co-production between the U.K. (F&ME), Bulgaria (Multfilm) and Belgium (Leftfield), the film is being sold internationally by Antonio Saura’s Latido Film Sales.
Also on the slate is “Dede,” the debut feature from Mariam Khatchvani (“Dinola”), which wrapped in late January. The film is a Georgian/British/Croatian/Dutch co-production with Vova Katcharava’s 20 Steps, Igor Nola’s MP Film Production and JaJa Film Prods.
The project was developed at the Sundance Lab and Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde (Cannes), and is supported by the Doha Film Institute and the Georgian National Film Center. It was in the works-in-progress selection at the Festival du Cinema Europeen des Arcs in December and is expected to be finished in time for Cannes.
Also just at the end of its post-production phase is Rade Serbedzija and Danilo Serbedzija’s co-directing effort “The Liberation of Skopje,” made in partnership with Igor Nola in Zagreb, Robert Naskov, Medo Tozija and Vladimir Anastasov in Skopje, Arto Halonen in Finland and F&ME in the U.K.
Other films in development scheduled to shoot this year include “How to Sell a War” by Rudolph Herzog, “The Disciple,” directed by “Koza” helmer Ivan Ostrochovsky, and written by Rebecca Lenckiewicz and Ostrochovsky, and a new film from Volker Schloendorff (details to follow in March), which is set to shoot in April, and Konstantin Bojanov’s “My Eyes Are Yours” (working title).
“We are in the business of making world cinema,” Downey said, “which is why we have developed over the last 15 years a tight network of ‘two-way street’ partnerships of reciprocal co-production. In this way we bring films like ‘Lost in Karastan’ and ‘The President’ to shoot somewhere like Georgia, and then we come back and participate in local films made by local talent like ‘Dede,’ which is currently shooting. Equally we will also bring Rudolph Herzog’s debut film ‘How to Sell a War’ to shoot there next spring.”
“It’s all about sticking with the talent,” Taylor said, “and in directors like Rudolph (Herzog) and Mariam (Khatchvani), and writers like Tim Price, we have filmmakers who are at the beginning of their careers, who are still full of ideas and creativity, and this is what inspires one to want to produce. Film and Music Entertainment has made a wide range of films over the years with a wide range of talents — and we are still curious to find that writer, that director who can take it to another level. Which is why we are pleased to be making two films with British writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz.”
Still in production is Rajko Grlic’s direction of an Ante Tomic screenplay entitled “The Constitution,” which is produced by Zagreb’s Inter Film and co-produced by Rudolph Biermann of Prague’s In-Film and Sever + Sever of Slovenia. Latido has also just come on board to handle international sales.
Three F&ME productions just entered the distribution phase in their countries of origin: In December Miroslav Momcilovic’s “A Stinking Fairy Tale” opened in Belgrade to strong box office results, making it the biggest Serbian film of the year. In Croatia, Propeler Film and F&ME launched Antonio Nuic’s long awaited, much-bruited “Life Is a Trumpet.” Both these films are now being introduced to the international festival marketplace and will roll out in the first half of the year. In the U.K., Bulldog released Ben Hopkins’ “Lost in Karastan,” starring Matthew Macfadyen, Myanna Buring and Noah Taylor on Jan. 22.