NEW YORK — Gotham-based production shingle Forensic Films and casting agency Hopkins, Smith, Barden are partnering to create a production, financing and casting consultancy for international producers seeking to access American talent and production financing.
The companies will act as U.S.-based reps for six to eight foreign films, filmmakers and production companies per year. The partnership is an outgrowth of the two companies’ work on Olivier Assayas’ Cannes Competition entry “Demonlover,” for which the two shingles combined their services on behalf of Paris-based Elizabeth Films.
“For years Forensic has worked in collaboration with European producers for our own projects, but also in assisting them with theirs — finding U.S. writers and cast, handling U.S. physical production and brokering talent and distribution deals,” said Robin O’Hara, co-president of Forensic with Scott Macaulay. “This partnership will allow us to expand our efforts to create new opportunities for international filmmakers.”
Kerry Barden noted, “Producers and filmmakers outside of the United States are often unaware of American actors’ desire to work on creatively exciting projects, wherever they might be. This new partnership will benefit directors, actors and producers.”
Forensic is assembling an equity pool that will selectively invest in projects put through the partnership.
First pic coming out of the partnership is Philippe Grandrieux’s “La nouvelle vie,” which recently wrapped production in Bulgaria. Pic was produced by Catherine Jacques of Paris’s LPZ, Emmanuel Schlumberger of L Films and Pierre Benque of Maia Films. Anna Mouglalis and American Zach Knighton star. Sales are being handled by the Wild Bunch.
Forensic and Hopkins, Smith, Barden will oversee the American elements of “Mouth to Mouth,” written and directed by London-based Alison Murray, produced by Ann Beresford of MJW Prods. and exec produced by Ego Films and Atom Egoyan, whose “Ararat” screens out of competition at Cannes.
On its production side, Forensic will continue producing two to three American productions per year. Projects include writer-director Johanna Lee’s “Jersey Seoul,” a Korean-American wedding comedy with a generational twist to which Sandra Oh is attached; “The Shamrocks,” Leslie McCleave’s New York-set Irish soccer film, to be produced with Ireland’s Samson Films and New York’s 49th Parallel Prods.; “Celeste,” a Paris-based erotic drama written by Erin Cressida Wilson (“Secretary”) and to be directed by Jesse Peretz; and “The Man Who Was Thursday,” George Smith’s adaptation of G.K. Chesterton’s turn-of-the-century thriller.
Hopkins, Smith, Barden has cast pics including “Monster’s Ball,” “The Cider House Rules,” “Seven” and “Boy’s Don’t Cry.”
Forensic has produced pics including “Long Way Home,” along with StudioCanal, Alain de la Mata and Sollett, and Jesse Peretz’s upcoming IFC Films release “The Chateau.” Other releases include Harmony Korine’s “Gummo” and “Julien Donkey-Boy” and Frank Whaley’s “Joe the King.”