Dragon and Andell on a Mission

Brit producers ramp up with Bronfman bucks

LONDON — British producers Graham Broadbent and Damian Jones have joined forces with Ellen Bronfman and Andrew Hauptman’s Andell Entertainment to launch a new film company, Mission Pictures.

Peter Czernin, former president of Di Novi Pictures in Los Angeles, is also set to join the London-based production shingle.

The creation of Mission marks an attempt to marry the the creative skills of Broadbent and Jones, who previously operated as Dragon Pictures, with financial resources of Andell, a private investment company affiliated to the Bronfman family, and with Czernin’s Hollywood expertise.

“We’re ramping up,” Jones said. “Our partnership with Andell will enable us to enhance our existing slate and expand it more aggressively in the future.”

Since founding Dragon in 1995, Broadbent and Jones have produced nine movies in the U.K. and the U.S., including “Welcome to Sarajevo,” “Gridlock’d” and Peter Hewitt’s upcoming comedy, “Thunderpants.”

Andell Entertainment is the film arm of Andell Ltd., a London-based vehicle whose diverse portfolio of assets includes a substantial stake in Vivendi Universal.

“Dragon had all the qualities we looked for in a producing partner,” Hauptman, who will act as chairman of Mission, said. “Graham and Damian have proven themselves as producers across a broad range of material and they are ambitious, both for their films and for the company.”

Hauptman was director of business development and strategic planning for Universal Studios before quitting to found Andell with his wife Ellen Bronfman.

Czernin recently returned to the U.K. after an abortive partnership with former Pathe Entertainment topper Alexis Lloyd. Previously he worked for eight years in Los Angeles, since 1997 as prexy of Denise Di Novi’s Warner-based shingle.

“I am really excited to be joining Mission Pictures,” he said. “I have watched Dragon’s output and growth with great admiration of the last few years, and I believe the partnership with Andell offers us all the potential to fulfill our ambitions.”

At Mission, Czernin will take an executive role overseeing the expanded development slate, while Jones and Broadbent will continue to concentrate on producing chores.

The company was recently awarded £250,000 ($360,000) in development coin by the U.K.’s Film Council to match its own private resources.

“Mission Pictures comprises partners with a wealth of experience in different areas,” Broadbent said. “Going forward we have a real stability as a production company, and most importantly, our own significant development fund.”

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