7 Arts ups Sandys

Ex-financier tapped prod'n prexy at indie

Eric Sandys, previously a senior VP of production, has leapfrogged directly to the production prexy slot at indie film outfit Seven Arts Pictures.

“Eric has proven himself as a talented producer,” said Seven Arts CEO Peter Hoffman. “He will help steer Seven Arts forward as we continue to expand our production slate.”

In his new position, ex-Wall Street financier Sandys will continue performing his somewhat unorthodox dual roles of shaping the creative side of the company’s project slate, as well as bringing his considerable equity expertise to bear on financing them once they’re ready.

Sandys is producing the $40 million actioner “The Descent” with Pierre Spengler, and Seven Arts handling foreign sales. Patrick Read Johnson will helm from a script he co-wrote with John Lau.

Sandys is also exec producing the Seven Arts picture “American Rhapsody,” which began shooting in Budapest, two weeks ago. Eva Gardos helms for producers Colleen Camp and Bonnie Timmermann.

Prior to landing at Seven Arts in January 1996 as VP, Sandys was one of the youngest-ever veepees at Bankers Trust, where he headed the company’s U.S. derivatives business.

Among other projects he’s shepherding is a remake of “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” to be helmed by Tony Hickox and produced by Colleen Camp with Sam and Lou Arkoff, and the big-budget thriller “Confidence” with Kevin Reynolds attached to direct.

In one of the company’s biggest plays, Seven Arts also recently stepped up to co-finance half of the William Friedkin-helmed Paramount actioner “Rules of Engagement,” which insiders say cost $55 million. It stars Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, and the studio is said to be eyeing it for a summer 2000 release, the same slot that propelled “The General’s Daughter” above the $100 million mark.