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Presidio skeds bow in Japan

Company to start as all-rights buyer, diversify

Japan, one of the toughest distribution markets in the world, has a new buyer: Presidio Corp., unveiled May 17 by former Gaga Communications exec Yasutaka Hanada.

The company will start out as an all-rights buyer and diversify into physical distribution, Hanada says.

Presidio’s eventual goal is to release between 10 and 20 pics annually, of varying budgets and concepts.

Hanada said that he would focus on the action, sci-fi/action and dramatic genres. Comedies and family films are less attractive, although anything is up for consideration, he adds.

Hanada’s acknowledges that his initiative comes at a time when Japan is undergoing a severe recession. The shortage of screens in Japan has added to many distributors’ worries, and forced several to form alliances in order to purchase bigger films.

Hanada was formerly vice president of acquisitions and distribution for Gaga, where he worked for six years.

His buys include Peter Berg’s “Very Bad Things,” starring Christian Slater and Cameron Diaz, from Initial Entertainment Group; and Martha Fiennes’ upcoming “Eugene Onegin,” starring Ralph Fiennes, and Liv Tyler, from Rysher Entertainment.