WMA indie unit lands coin for ‘Crime’

$10 mil thriller to be produced under Fingerprint Films

CANNES — WMA Independent’s Cassian Elwes, Rena Ronson and Shaun Redick have secured financing for director-d.p. Dan Mintz and producer-writer Jeff Ritchie’s “American Crime.”

The $10 million pic will be produced under the duo’s production banner Fingerprint Films. WMA is repping domestic distribution rights to “Crime” and is in negotiations with Mark Damon’s MDP Worldwide to handle international sales rights to the film.

“Crime,” the follow-up to the duo’s debut feature, “Cookers,” is a thriller-mystery about a small-town news crew reporting on a series of deaths. As the investigation intensifies, the clues begin to point to the crew as the guilty parties.

WMA Independent also is repping domestic rights to “Cookers,” which premiered at the L.A. Film Festival last month. Thriller follows a couple of drug dealers who rip off a large amount of crystal meth from a biker gang and hole up in an old country house.

“Shaun Redick and I signed Dan and Jeff 10 minutes after we saw ‘Cookers’ because we were so excited by it,” said Elwes. “Dan is going to have a huge career; (he) reminds me very much of when I was a producer working on John McTiernan’s first feature in terms of style and personality. I can’t wait to get working with him on ‘American Crime’ and on many other films in the future.”

Fingerprint Films, the feature division of Pacesetter Pictures Intl., is a commercial production entity with studios in China and the U.S.

Separately, Fingerprint Films exec producer Wu Bing has completed a financing deal with Mainstay Investment Group, which gets capital funding from different parts of Asia, principally China.

“Crime” marks the second film in a multipic deal between Fingerprint and MIG. Wu said the financing deal marks the first time a mainland Chinese company has invested in overseas film production.

“We were very impressed by ‘Cookers,’ ” said Marcus Hu, VP of Mainstay Investment Group. “The pressure and pacing are incredible. We are extremely confident in ‘American Crime’ and feel that it is innovative and has what it takes to excel in this very competitive market.”