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UGC grabs Gallic pix for world

Works from Leconte, Becker picked up

UGC Intl., the recently re-formed international sales division of French major UGC, has picked up worldwide rights to high-profile Gallic pics from helmers Patrice Leconte and Jean Becker.

UGC Intl. chairman Patrick Binet closed the deal with producer Christian Fechner to rep Leconte’s $12 million love story “La Fille Sur le Pont,” starring Daniel Auteuil and Vanessa Paradis.

The second film is the $11 million “Les Enfants du Marais,” starring a host of France’s most popular thesps including Jacques Gamblin, Michel Serrault, Jacques Villeret and Andre Dussolier. Both pics start shooting this summer.

The deal is a coup for Binet and company president Louisa Dent, who reformed UGC’s sales arm late last year following the sale of the huge UGC film library to the Canal Plus group.

Competition from rival French sales companies for the Leconte and Becker pics was stiff, particularly from TF1 Intl., which handled Leconte’s box office disappointer “Half a Chance,” which Fechner produced.

UGC Intl. caused a stir at the start of the market by taking all international rights outside the U.S. to Tim Robbins’ “The Cradle Will Rock.” Pic is currently shooting and Dent said UGC is in talks with several distribs, although “it’s not certain we’ll close at Cannes.”