Geels, Guy link to produce, finance pix

Duo aims to enter sales, distrib arena in Europe, U.S.

Laurens Geels, producer of 1998’s foreign lingo Oscar winner “Character,” is creating a trans-Atlantic partnership with Todd Komarnicki’s production/management shingle Guy Walks Into a Bar Inc.

Under the deal, the L.A.-based Guy and Geels’ Amsterdam-based First Floor Features will develop, produce and finance a slate of upcoming films.

Agreement also allows for the continuation of Bar Management’s guidance of writers and directors by Jon Berg, who will produce films for the new partnership. Both companies were repped by Endeavor.

The alliance’s aim is to enter the sales and distribution arena, and with roots in both the European and Hollywood communities, the partners hope to exploit both the international and U.S. marketplaces.

Geels founded First Floor with director Dick Maas and has produced 16 feature films and several television series and comedies. Feature credits include “Abel,” “Flodder,” “The Northerners,” “Amsterdamned,” “Wings of Fame,” “Long Live the Queen,” “Down” and “Tom & Thomas,” which collectively garnered several Golden Calf awards, three Felix European film awards in Berlin and prizes at many festivals.

“It’s a privilege to know Todd as a co-worker, a business partner and a friend,” said Geels. “His passion for filmmaking and his innate ability to motivate people to create the best results possible are great incentives for our association and the future of our partnership.”

Komarnicki is a novelist, director, screenwriter and producer, as well as the founder of Guy Walks Into a Bar. Most recently, Komarnicki directed his adaptation of Anita Shreve’s “Resistance” for Geels and Paige Simpson. Pic, starring Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond, is set for release in the fall.

Komarnicki also adapted international bestseller “The Professor and the Madman” for Paramount Studios, with Mel Gibson and Luc Besson producing and John Boorman directing. It begins lensing in 2003.

He’s also adapted and will direct his latest novel, “Famine,” for Atlantic Streamline and the U-based Laura Bickford Prods.