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Pix at a Crossroads

Company preps helmer Zonca for 'Thief'

Vid and commercial production company Crossroads Films has struck three pic deals, which rep United Artists-based company’s most substantial foray into the feature arena.

Crossroads has tapped French filmmaker Erick Zonca (“The Dreamlife of Angels”) to develop and direct a feature based his one-hour French TV (Arte) special “The Little Thief.” Nick St. John will pen the screenplay.

Shingle has enlisted Eric Mendelsohn (“Judy Berlin”) to pen and helm “Delia” and optioned “McGoorty,” a book by Danny McGoorty and Robert Byrne, for John McCormick to adapt.

Crossroads’ development exec Eugenie Gandval brought “The Little Thief” into the company and will shepherd it for the shingle. Pic is a coming-of-age story set in the world of street gangs in Marseille, France. Zonca, along with scribe St. John, will refashion the project into a Gotham context.

Zonca’s “The Dreamlife of Angels” was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1998. Pic’s leads, Elodie Bouchez and Natacha Regnier, nabbed actress kudos in Cannes the same year.

Crossroads inked a three-year, first-look pact with UA last May, with specialty vet Bingham Ray the company’s selling point with the studio (Daily Variety, May 30, 2001).

When UA tapped Ray to head production, Crossroads’ drive to make features continued under Dan Lindau, who runs company with Los Angeles-based Cami Taylor. Lindau is joined in Gotham by Gandval and Mirella Cheeseman, with Paul Miller (“Prozac Nation”) serving as company’s inhouse producer and David Title the story editor.

“McGoorty” is the story of a gambler and pool hustler at the beginning of the 20th Century. “Delia” centers on a female costume designer’s decent into madness.

Crossroads has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Gotham. While shingle has been involved with such pics as “Jawbreaker” and “First Love Last Rites,” the arrangement with UA has jump-started the move into features. Shingle plans to make three to four pics a year with budgets up to $15 million a year.

“We’ve been afforded a really good opportunity by Chris McGurk and Bingham Ray,” Lindau said. “Now we have to perform. It’s taken us awhile to learn the ropes. But it’s all about finding people you want to work with.”

He added, “To be taken seriously we have to make movies with other people as well.”

Lindau had worked as a commercial and musicvid line producer. He co-founded Crossroads in 1989 with a mission to introduce non-commercial filmmakers to the advertising world. Lindau helped introduce and develop helmers Mark Pellington, Tim Pope and Jesse Peretz. The company has won virtually every industry award, including MTV video of the year, the Gold Lion, Grammys, AICP and Clios.

Among Crossroads properties are inhouse editing/design facility 89, musicvid label Merge and Crossroads TV.