You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AFM ’93; Vision’s CEO drops prez title

Vision Intl. chairman/CEO Mark Damon has relinquished his additional title of president to allow him to concentrate on acquiring, producing and selling films.

Pursuing his goal of parlaying the 7-year-old Vision into a worldwide distribution force feeding 20 pictures a year to foreign distribs, Damon also disclosed he’s negotiating a long-term pact with former Carolco prexy Peter Hoffman.

Vision is angling to distribute overseas “most” future films from Hoffman’s Cinevisions and in some cases to handle domestic release as well, said Damon.

“Peter (Hoffman) intends to put a lot of films before the cameras. We are having advanced discussions about representing most of his productions,” Damon said yesterday, adding there is no deal yet.

Damon confirmed that two weeks ago he decided to up Stephen Monas from senior VP of business affairs to president, while he remains as chairman/CEO.

He had intended to hold back on announcing Monas’ promotion and on airing the Hoffman conversations until after the American Film Market.

But he agreed to discuss both issues with Daily Variety to emphatically quell speculation circulating at the AFM that falsely suggested Vision is struggling, that Damon himself is exiting and that Hoffman would take the reins at Vision.

“We have the biggest slate we’ve ever had,” boasted Damon, referring to 18 films from pre-production to release, with combined budgets of $ 209 million.

Appearing relaxed and confident in the spacious Vision suite overlooking the ocean, foreign sales vet and former actor (who appeared in 50 films, the last in 1974) Damon stressed: “We’re in better shape financially than ever.” He was flanked by Monas, who said Vision is well-funded by pre-sales plus production loans from several institutions: Imperial, Mercantile National and Kreditbank Luxembourg. Like many Hollywood companies, Vision had to find alternative sources of funds after Credit Lyonnais decided to cut back its loan portfolio.

To strengthen Vision’s presence overseas, in the past three months the company has sealed output deals with distribs in six territories, Damon disclosed. The exec says he’s not ready to name these distribs. He listed the advantages of those pacts as doing business with distribs that provide “accurate accounting,” and avoiding the need to negotiate each picture separately.

Vision has domestic distrib deals with Sony’s Triumph Releasing and Columbia TriStar Home Video. Sony has a minority stake in Vision, as have Trans World Entertainment partners Moshe Diamant and Eduard Sarlui.

Vision’s sales agency agreement with Epic Prods. ended after Diamant and Sarlui were forced out of Epic by Credit Lyonnais. Epic’s current chief John H. Peters reportedly is talking to various sales agents about handling Epic’s library. Damon says he’s also talking to Epic about extending the sales deal.

Triumph is releasing Vision’s Eskimo epic “Shadow of the Wolf” this Friday on 400 prints, and “Sidekicks” (Beau Bridges, Joe Piscopo) on April 9. At the AFM, Damon reported strong pre-sales for Vision’s slate headed by “Men of War” (Dolph Lundgren), “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” (Daryl Hannah) and “Benji-Benji.”

More Film

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams with Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

  • Aruna and Her Palate review

    Berlin Film Review: ‘Aruna & Her Palate’

    When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]

  • 'Duke' Review: Two Fake Cops Patrol

    Film Review: 'Duke'

    If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]

  • Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in

    Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in Berlin Festival Film 'Sargasso Sea'

    After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    France's Cesar Awards Leads the Way for the Oscars

    Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content