Stipe,UA Films ink 3-year pact

Entertainment co. RSUB to retain 'Net rights under deal

MGM specialty arm United Artists Films has signed a three-year first-look deal with Michael Stipe’s Self Timer.

The parent company of both Single Cell Pictures, which is headed by Sandy Stern, and C-Hundred Film, which is headed by Jim McKay, Self Timer was formed when digital entertainment company RSUB made a mid-seven-figure investment in Stipe’s twin film ventures (Daily Variety, April 20).

Both Self Timer subsidiaries have track records of critically acclaimed films, including Single Cell’s “Being John Malkovich” and C-Hundred’s “American Movie.”

RSUB provides a substantial discretionary fund for Self Timer and will retain Internet rights to all films produced under the Self Timer-UA deal.

Stipe founded the Los Angeles-based Single Cell in 1995 with producing partner Stern. The company served as executive producer on “Velvet Goldmine” and produced “Malkovich.” Single Cell also produced the Showtime drama “Freak City” starring Samantha Mathis, which was nominated for a WGA Award.

New York-based C-Hundred was co-founded by Stipe and director-producer McKay (“Girls Town”) in 1987. C-Hundred’s credits also include McKay’s “Our Song,” which screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

“I’ve always been attracted to UA’s artist-driven history,” said Stipe. “I couldn’t be happier than to have Self Timer be a part of that legacy.”

Added Stern, “What a great time for us. Our recently concluded deal with RSUB combined with this deal gives us the unique ability to develop, finance and distribute product in all traditional and new media.”

Self Timer, which also has offices in Gotham, is currently setting up its Los Angeles HQ near Sunset Boulevard.

Among the projects that Self Timer has in development are “13 Conversations About One Thing,” helmed by Jill Sprecher (“The Clockwatchers”) from Single Cell; C-Hundred is slated to produce “Backward Looks, Far Corners” from Christopher Munch (“Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day”), “Stranger Inside” from Cheryl Dunye (“The Watermelon Woman”), Lisa Collins’ “The Grass Is Greener” and Walid Raad’s “Hostage.”

“(Michael, Sandy and Jim’s) artistic instincts and guts are tantamount to the vision of UA,” said UA head Gerry Rich, who also serves as MGM’s president of worldwide marketing.

Self Timer was repped by attorney Sue Bodine of Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein and the William Morris Agency.

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