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New Oz co. Ocean has Alibi

Output deal aims to produce 3 films at $3 mil each

SYDNEY — Producers Jonathan Shteinman (“Angel Baby” and “Thank God He Met Lizzie”) and Emile Sherman (“Sample People”) have joined forces to form a new Australian feature sales, acquisitions and distribution outfit called Ocean Pictures, which has clinched an output deal with the U.K.’s Alibi Films Intl.

Shteinman refused to provide details of the financial backing of Ocean, but said the group aims to back up to three films with budgets of up to A$5 million ($3 million) every 18 months. World rights will rest with Alibi, while Becker Entertainment’s REP Films will handle Oz releases.

The Ocean-Alibi alliance believes it will fill a gap in the market after the demise of traditional Oz film supporters Polygram and Ciby2000.

Shteinman will be managing director of Ocean, while Sherman will be chair and exec director. Head of development and acquisitions will be Mark Lazarus, who was a creative affairs exec at the now shuttered Fox-Icon banner at Sydney’s Fox Studios.

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