Eyre shirting up for ‘Skins’

Louis adaptation stars Greene, Schweig

This article was corrected on May 10, 2001.

Chris Eyre (“Smoke Signals”) will helm “Skins,” with Overseas Filmgroup handling the pic’s worldwide licensing.

Film, which begins production this week, was adapted from poet Adrian C. Louis’ novel of the same title. Jon Kilik, a producer on such pics as “Before Night Falls,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Do the Right Thing,” will make “Skins” the first pic of his overall first-look deal with First Look Media.

“Skins” stars Graham Greene (“The Green Mile”) and Eric Schweig (“Last of the Mohicans”).

Pic is being produced in association with Starz Encore Entertainment and the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. The APTN will license the film for broadcast in Canada.

Eyre’s first film, “Smoke Signals” (based on stories by Sherman Alexie), was seized by Miramax at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the audience award and the filmmaker’s trophy. Pic went on to gross $6.5 million in the U.S.

“Skins” tells the story of the unconditional love between two brothers, Rudy Yellow Lodge, a tribal police officer, and his alcoholic brother, Mogie. Both serve in Vietnam and return home. But while Rudy gets a college degree and a job, Mogie reverts to the alcoholism that has devastated his family and Lakota tribe.

Now a division of First Look Media, Overseas Filmgroup is a worldwide film distributor that specializes in the acquisition, financing, packaging and distribution of independently produced feature films. Company, founded by Ellen and Robbie Little, is headed by Chris Cooney, co-chairman and CEO.

Company’s upcoming slate includes “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,” starring Matthew McConaughey, John Turturro, Clea Duvall, Amy Irving and Alan Arkin; “The Hermit of Amsterdam,” starring Burt Reynolds, Julie Christie and Carmen Chaplin; and “The Jimmy Show,” written and directed by Frank Whaley and starring Whaley, Ethan Hawke and Carla Gugino.

Overseas Film Group handled foreign sales on “Before Night Falls,” which was financed and directed by Julian Schnabel, and starred Oscar nominee Javier Bardem.