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Sceneries sets up fund for int’l indies

CANNES — Los Angeles-based Sceneries Entertainment has set up the Intl. New Talent Production Fund, bringing together investors from the U.S. and Europe.

The fund, which is designed to finance low-budget pics from up-and-coming directors, will have around $4 million at its disposal at any one time.

Backers currently include Sceneries, Spanish producer/distributor Enrique Cerezo P.C., Italy’s Marvel Movies, three American producer/investors — Carl Macek (Streamline Pictures), Kevin Eastman and Anna Shay — as well as digital sound giant DTS and L.A. facility Deluxe Laboratories. The companies involved will gain local distribution rights to the pics funded.

The idea is to have a revolving fund that is used for two or three films per year and replenished via sales of those films.

The first pic to benefit is Hope Perello’s “St. Patrick’s Day.” Sceneries, which has the lead role in greenlighting films, has also acquired distribution rights to Neil Abramson’s Sundance fest title, “Without Air.”

“The idea is to help young talent get films made and know that in key territories those pictures will get released,” said Sceneries Intl. president Philippe Diaz. “The only stipulation is that the projects have to be shot in English.”

Sceneries Europe, the Paris-based arm of Diaz’s company, is now co-producing the $6 million animated feature “The Adventures of Blake and Mortimer,” based on the comic book sleuth characters of Edgar P. Jacobs.

The project is being headed by Canal Plus’ television production arm, Ellipse, and should be ready by early 1998.

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